The Sunday Times
Q My off-plan property in Malaga is due to be completed in the next few months, and I will be inspecting the property soon. What should I look out for, and what are my rights if I find any defects? J Harrison, by email
A Before making the final payment to a developer or builder — usually the remaining 70% at this stage — you need to ensure your home is finished to the required specification. When the builder contacts you to arrange an inspection, commission a chartered surveyor’s report to UK standards, which starts at about €400 (£350). Try the Rics-governed Survey Spain (surveyspain.com).
Your snagging list should include any damp patches or mould growths; the state of the plasterwork and paintwork, which should be well finished, with no cracking; whether all the appliances you have paid for have been installed; and whether doors and windows open and close properly. Check that the taps and loos run and flush, that electric, phone and internet points are as specified and that amenities are as promised.
Off-plan buyers are covered by various construction-defect guarantees under Spanish law, but negotiations on flaws must take place before completion, so you have leverage.
Raymundo L Nesbitt, director of Larrain Nesbitt Lawyers; http://www.es.larrainnesbittabogados.com
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