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Contracts for Spain Real Estate

by Per Svensson Contracts for Spain Real Estate

Binding price estimates? Contracts for Spain Real Estate

A builder has given you a written estimate for the construction of a swimming pool. You do not accept the estimate at once, since you want to compare it with prices from other builders. When you go back to the builder to accept his offer, he may demand a higher price due to the time elapsed. Of course, a 'presupuesto' is not a contract before both sides have accepted it. But normally, the builder writes in his estimate that it is valid until a certain date. If you accept his offer before that date, he is obligated to honour it.

If the builder has not stipulated a time limit in his 'presupuesto', and if you insist that he do the work at the price offered, while he refuses, you may end up in front of a judge who will then decide if the time you took before taking up the offer was too long.

2. Private contracts and escrituras Contracts for Spain Real Estate

The 'escritura de compra-venta' is a contract that is made in front of a notary and fulfills the requirement to be registered in the property register. But a private contract on purchase-sale of a property is also legally binding. Yes, even a verbal agreement on a sale-purchase is binding, if it can be proved. And be careful: even a receipt for payment of a deposit can be worded so that it is a valid purchase contract.

3. Standard contracts Contracts for Spain Real Estate

You cannot dispute the stipulations in standard contracts such as those with the electricity or water companies. Such monopolies will have had their contracts read carefully by consumer organisations which will protest against any stipulation that is too one-sided. You can protest individually against a one-sided contract with the bank, by going to another bank, or a contract from a promoter by not buying.

4. Interpretation of contracts

Mostly it is the courts which decide on the interpretation of contracts in the case of conflict. An expensive exercise. Unfortunately, few contracts in Spain have a reference to a body of arbitration.

To avoid misinterpretations and conflicts, it is necessary to try to make contracts clear and covering all aspects of the transaction.

A contract is what the contents represent and not what you prefer to call it. If you make a contract for letting a dwelling for more than one year, it is a long-term letting contract (arrendamiento urbano) even if you call it 'contract for short-term letting' in the heading.

Unclear stipulations Contracts for Spain Real Estate

If one or more clauses in a contract is unclear, and it comes to a judge to interpret the content of it, he is obliged, by law, not to allow the clarification of the unclear clause create a benefit to the maker of the clause through its clarification.

5. Formal requirements Contracts for Spain Real Estate

In any kind of contract, it is normal to state first the place where the agreement is made, and the date of signing it.

If a contract is made between two parties living in different places or countries, it would be normal to name as 'place' the municipality where the object of the contract is situated or where the service will be rendered.

Secondly come the names and information about the contracting parties: the full name and address where they can be located, and passport or residence permit number. In an escritura, the notary will also ask for nationality, occupation and marital status.

Then it must specify in what capacity the parties act. It may be that one of them represents a company. Then it must mention the name of the company, its address, registration numbers and when the power of attorney to the person signing was issued, assuring that it is still valid. In an escritura, the notary will ask to see the power of attorney.

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