Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spot the Snags; If You Are Buying a New Home in Spain, It Pays to Have It Checked, Says Sarah Pennells

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spot the Snags; If You Are Buying a New Home in Spain, It Pays to Have It Checked, Says Sarah Pennells

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH PENNELLS

THE number one country where Britons buy a second home is Spain, with more than 70,000 of us owning a holiday home there. Buying a newly built property is still very popular. It means you can have some input into the design and finish of the property and it should (in theory) be easy to maintain.

However, there can be problems: new properties are not always finished on time and even when they are, they may have defects or be missing vital certification.

Whereas in the UK, it is usual for new-build property to be inspected for snagging defects, the practice is not widespread in Spain.

InspectaHomeSpain, a property survey company in southern Spain, found 37 per cent of the properties it inspected were completed more than a year late and each one had more than 70 snagging defects.

Roy Howitt, the managing director of Inspecta-HomeSpain, says that most faults were associated with tiling. "The faults varied quite dramatically from a single broken tile to badlytiled kitchens and bathrooms and terraces not being level so rainwater could not drain off."

The problems are not confined to cheaper properties either, according to Howitt. "Defects can occur across the board. Quite recently, I inspected a property costing [pounds sterling]400,000 and it had the most faults I had ever seen."

Even if the property is completed correctly, you may not be home and dry.

By law, all new-build property must have a certificate of habitation so that services, such as water and electricity, can be connected. However, InspectaHome found that of the 350 properties it checked, only 11 (or three per cent) had been issued with the document.

The certificate is often required by banks before they will grant a mortgage, according to Mike Boles of Savills Private Finance. …

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