Regular legal-contributor Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt explains Andalusia’s Decree 218/2005 law that regulates the information real estate agencies and developers need to provide to consumers on renting or selling properties, before any deposit is paid, in the region of Andalusia.
By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
8th of August 2016
Original article: 29th August 2.008
This month’s article features a law that was passed in 2005. It acts as a gentle reminder of an article I published well over a decade ago. The reason I republish it this month is because sales are picking up again and we are at the peak of the rentals season.
The concept of Documento Informativo Abreviado (DIA, for short) pervades this law and is the cornerstone of this decree. It is the Spanish equivalent of the UK’s HPI, Home Purchase Information, or Seller’s pack.
DIAs will contain different information contingent on whether we are dealing with property for sale (off-plan or resale) or else a rental.
The idea behind Decree 218 is that when a consumer (tenant or buyer) walks into a developer’s sales office, or else a real estate agency (whoever is marketing the property), they are handed key legal information in the shape of a detailed booklet (DIA) before any deposit is paid, which proves most useful.
I have structured my article as a FAQ and use bullet points for ease of comprehension rather than list and comment its sections one by one which would be rather tedious and off-putting.
Where is it enforced?
Only in the region of Andalusia. All properties located in that region are subject to it.
What properties does it apply to?
Properties being rented or sold (whether off-plan or resales).
What does it rule on?
It rules on the documents and information that is mandatory to be supplied to prospective tenants and property purchasers (consumers) on the sale and let of properties located in the autonomous region of Andalusia.
Basically this law is part of the Consumer’s legislation which has been enacted to further protect and ensure the rights of all consumers in Andalusia. It complements the national Consumer Law embodiment.
Who does it apply to?
It applies to all professional intermediaries such as Real Estate Agencies, sole Estate Agents and developers on selling and letting properties located in Andalusia.
It does not apply in administrative, public or judicial property auctions.
It only applies to main homes. So plots of land and commercial properties are excluded.
Who is the beneficiary of this law?
Consumers at large and the broader real estate market ultimately. Would-be buyers and long-term tenants of properties in Andalusia will do so in a safer legal framework.
Where can I find a copy of this law in Spanish?
Here, just follow this link.
Sorry, no English version.
It is a fairly short law of only 15 articles.
The information supplied must cover the following points
The following is shared amongst all three DIA classes.
The Documento Informativo Abreviado (DIA, for short)
Developer’s or intermediaries, such as estate agents, are obliged to deliver free-of-charge in Andalusia a copy of a DIA for every property on their books.
DIA’s will include the following information:
Besides including all the above, a full mention of all the administrative licences available must be included, chiefly:
Other ancillary documents that must be supplied alongside the key ones above are:
The Rental DIA can be supplied prior to formalising the rental contract at the consumer’s sole request free-of-charge and in any case it is compulsory to supply it simultaneous to the signing of a tenancy agreement.
Art 12.- All premises in which a professional activity of intermediation, on selling or renting property (i.e. Estate Agents or developers), must have a very visible sign with the following message in Spanish: Consumers have a right to be handed over a copy of their dwelling’s DIA. This sign will be placed alongside the one that informs consumers that a Claims & Complaints book is available on request.
Art 13.- All Private Purchase, Sale & Let Contracts must comply fully with Royal Decree 171/1989 of Consumer Protection regarding information that must be made available in conveyance & property lets.
Art 14.- Consumer bodies will enforce this law. The Junta de Andalusia’s Inspectors can, without prior warning and without any need of identifying themselves previously, verify that an establishment open to the public is complying fully with all the obligations set forth in this Decree 218/05.
Art 15.- Fines may be imposed on non-compliance.
The Decree’s Annexes
I won’t go into detail on these as it only affects intermediaries, not consumers. Basically the decree sets out six different annexes which must be used by developers and real estate agencies as templates on marketing a property. So for example annex 3 is the template dealing with new homes (nine pages long!) and annex 6 is the template on rentals (five pages long).
Professional intermediaries must populate these templates to produce a fact sheet which is then handed over to a consumer in his DIA or Home Information Pack.
A well-meaning law which unfortunately falls flat on its face as in practice it is snubbed by many because it adds considerable red tape.
I am not only referring to intermediaries but to owners themselves who must supply the former with a long list of documents so these can elaborate a ficha informativa or fact sheet on a property following the templates in the decree´s annexes. This ungrateful task can prove to be quite laborious and time-consuming (as it must be done for every property on their books).
Suffice is to say that this decree is widely held as unpopular.
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2.008 and 2.016 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.