Buying Off-Plan Property – Avoiding the pitfalls

18/09/2008 @ 12:07

Many British looking to invest in Spanish Property are attracted to the potentially lucrative ?off-plan? market. Buying a new-build property can have many advantages. Properties under construction are typically cheaper than the finished article, plus the property can often be finished to your own specifications. There is also something fascinating about watching your new property taking shape out of blocks and mortar. However, there are far greater potential pitfalls in buying an off-plan property than with a re-sale.

Newly built properties require various legal documents and certification before the new owner can be granted full legal title and protection, including Certificaci?n Fin de Obra (Certificate of Finished Works), Seguro Decenal (similar to the 10 year NHBC scheme in England) and Licencia de Primera Ocupaci?n (Licence of First Occupation). Once the developer has obtained the above documentation, it can apply for the Cedula de Habitabilidad (Licence for Habitation).

Problems can also arise if the developer runs into financial difficulty and has not arranged a Bank Guarantee to protect the purchaser. Perhaps the developer has failed to complete the property within the timescale agreed in the contract. Or perhaps the developer has completed the property on time, but the specification or views are not what were agreed in the contract.

Time and time again, clients will sign contracts, pay substantial sums of money or even complete on the purchase of a property without first protecting their position in respect of one or more of the above issues. The result can be that the client ends up with an unsatisfactory property, or keys to a property with incorrect paperwork and title, or worse still, no property and a loss of life-savings.

Before investing in an off-plan property, it is essential to take independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor who can investigate the above matters and protect your investment.

Tenerife Solicitors provide advice and assistance with all aspects of property sale and purchase. Call us now on 922 717845 (or 0871 218 0063 from the U.K.) for a no-obligation quotation or to discuss your requirements. Alternatively you can email us at