Is the ten year guarantee insurance compulsory?


Derecho Inmobiliario y cuestiones Fiscales

The Law stipulates this be compulsory for buildings whose main use is for that as homes


At present the ten year guarantee is that which guarantees the responsabilities of the agents of the building for damages caused through faults or defects that affect the technical resistence or stability of the building.

The ten year gurantee gives rise to numerious questions for those who are not familiar with this subject: what risks are covered, its obligatory nature and the exceptions of same, the consequences of the lack of same, the necessity of an OCT (Technical Control Organization).

What risks are covered with the ten year guarantee?

Prior to 1999, our Civil Code had already established a ten year gurantee for the cases of “ruin” in the building for contractors and architects. Without delving into that legal Framework it is true that very often the compliance with same was impossible, keeping in mind the lack of patrimony of those obliged to respond. This problem, particulary delicate in the case of homes, and only partially rectified with the public liability insurances that a few professionals or promotors held lead to the Law 38/1999, dated 5th November Building Planning Regulations.

In which, in its article 19, is established three periods in which to demand responsability from the agents (promotor, builder, architects, etc) taking place in the construction, according to the type of damage/faults:

Ten years for damages caused by defects or faults that affect the foundations, supports, beams, floors etc that jeopardize the technical resistente and stability of the building. Three years for the defects or faults of building elements or the installations leading to the failure to comply with the housing requirements. One year for the damages that arise in the elements of completion or finalization of the works.

Is the ten year guarantee compulsory?

The Law stipulates it is compulsory for buildings whose main use be that of homes. And how is this obligation made to be effective? Easy, non allowance of the registration of new construction in the Property Registry office, that, in precise makes it impossible for the promotor to obtain a mortgage, sell the dwellings, etc. If the promotor does not appear before the Notary with the mentioned insurance, he can do nothing, with no inclusion in the Property Registry office until after the 10 years. Naturally, as everything in this world there are exceptions, that in this case came to light at a later stage. Single “autopromotor” of only one single family home for his own use in order to register the Deed of New Construction in the Property Registry office. This exception created a problema, as it could occur that this home for the “autopromotor”, without a ten year guarantee, be sold in a period befote the 10 years.

What is the OCT?

The letters OCT are the Offices of Technical Contral which are: companies of engineers and/or architects whose work is to control the quality of the project, of the process of the building, and that this correctly corresponds to the project and applicable rules…. The OCT are obliged to not only revise and inform on the documents of the building (Final Project, Plans, etc.) but also to assist in certain critical moments of the construction to vouch that certain actions have taken place and of the quality of same. However, it is possible to sign ten year guarantees without the OCT.



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