An Estepona-based lawyer, Óscar Calvo, has succeeded in obtaining a legal resolution which improves the situation for off-plan property buyers.
Those who bought homes off-plan customarily signed a deal with developers and the bank which guaranteed the refund of any monies paid upfront if the property was not handed over as promised. However this guarantee was invalidated once the primary occupation licence was issued.
Now the situation has changed with the judicial resolution obtained by Calvo which eliminates this invalidation process because it is unlawful. Buyers who signed up to this bank guarantee after 1999 can request a refund.
According to Calvo, he was able to push for the court resolution because the law has been badly interpreted.
The first part of the relevant law refers to the guarantee running out once the primary occupation licence is issued but the second part insists that the completed property should also be handed over to the buyer. This has been ignored by banks and developers until now.
The new resolution - set to become enshrined in law - states that in cases where off-plan homes are not handed over to buyers as promised the “buyer can opt for the refund of any monies handed over once the completion date for works has passed, whether or not the primary occupation licence has been issued”.
Additionally, buyers now have a time-frame of 15 years to do this rather than two, the case up to now.
Calvo says that this will especially benefit foreign buyers who bought their homes in Spain without understanding the legislation, never received their properties and whose bank guarantee supposedly ran out.