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Properties with hidden defects: What are they, how to identify them and how to claim them?

Posted by AmorTulum on 23 de March de 2023

Hidden defects are imperfections in a property that cannot be easily seen. If you have problems with the construction of your property, you need to know how to claim these defects. This book explains the concept of hidden defects, the consequences of having them and how to determine them. It also gives you a practical guide on how to hire a professional to identify them. In this book you will find everything you need to know about hidden defects in properties and how to claim them.

What are hidden defects?

1. A hidden defect is any imperfection in a property that is not readily visible to the naked eye.

A hidden defect refers to a flaw or defect in a property that is not detectable to the naked eye and that pre-dates the time of purchase or sale. These hidden defects can significantly diminish the value of the property and often involve deficiencies that, had they been known in advance, could have affected the purchase decision. Some examples of hidden defects are hidden moisture due to broken pipes, structural, design, finish or functional errors. Hidden defects must be proven and may require anything from a monetary payment to repair the defects to a full refund for the purchase and compensation.

2. Hidden defects can affect any part of the property, from the installations to the services, including the state of conservation.

Hidden defects are defects or faults in the property that are not known or are not apparent at first sight, and that predate the time of purchase or sale. These defects can range from structural problems to plumbing or electrical problems, and represent a serious failure or a failure of such magnitude that, if known in advance, the buyer would not have moved forward with the process. They can also affect the utility and safety of the property.

Hidden defects can be very difficult for an inexperienced person to detect, so it is important to choose a certified and trustworthy agency or builder. If a hidden defect is discovered after the purchase, the buyer can demand from a monetary payment to repair the imperfections, to a full refund for the purchase and a compensation.

3. Hidden defects can cause economic damages to future owners.

The consequences of hidden defects for future owners can be manifold. The most notable effects are the significant cost to repair the damage, the decrease in the value of the property, the damage to the seller’s reputation and the possibility of legal litigation in the future.

On the one hand, repair costs can be significant, as hidden defects are often difficult to detect and require additional investigation to determine the extent of the damage. This is compounded by the fact that these problems are generally not covered by most insurance.

In addition, hidden defects can significantly decrease the value of the property, as potential buyers will be reluctant to pay full price for a property that is aware of hidden problems. This will affect both the owner’s ability to sell the property at a fair price and the ability to obtain a mortgage loan.

Finally, hidden defects can also damage the seller’s reputation if problems are discovered later. This can lead to legal claims by the buyer or a decrease in the number of sales for the seller. This can lead to costly litigation for homeowners down the road.

4. Hidden defects can include moisture stains, cracks, leaks and safety hazards.

Hidden defects in dwellings are defects that prevent the normal and full use of the property and that are not visible at first sight or are difficult to detect. They can be evaluated through a process analysis, classified into the following types:

  • Water-related problems: leaks, dampness, seepage and deteriorated pipes.
  • Foundation problems: cracks and fissures.
  • Defective finishes: buckling, discoloration, detachment of materials.
  • Bad thermal-acoustic behavior: noises, inadequate temperature, lack of thermal bridge treatment, etc.
  • Malfunctioning of the electrical system: switches, lights, sockets, etc.

When evaluating such hidden defects, attention to detail should be paid to verify that they are present to ensure that the property is in optimal condition. In addition, possible faults in the structure of the house should be verified to avoid possible problems in the future.

5. Properties with hidden defects can be difficult to sell or rent.

Hidden defects in a home can cause serious problems for sale or rental, since these defects are not visible to the naked eye and can significantly affect the value and livability of the property. Buyers and renters, unaware of these defects, may be misled and end up paying higher prices for the home or end up paying repair costs that are revealed after the contract is signed. This, in turn, leads to the difficulty of selling or renting a home with hidden defects, as buyers or renters are likely to look for other properties that allow them to avoid the problems and associated repair costs.

6. Hidden defects can include problems with the property, non-compliance and liability.

The types of problems, non-compliance and liability to consider when evaluating hidden defects are:

  1. Structural problems: These problems can be the result of poor construction or repair, or failure to maintain the property. This may include cracks in the foundation, cracks in the walls, dampness, roof problems, or any other problem that affects the structure of the property.
  2. Plumbing problems: This includes broken pipes, leaking pipes, outdated water systems, and gas and water related problems.
  3. Electrical problems: This includes problems with wiring, switches and outlets. These problems can be a potential safety hazard to the residents of the property.
  4. Breach of contract: If the buyer discovers that the seller did not fulfill the promises made in the sales contract, the buyer may be entitled to compensation.
  5. Liability: If the buyer discovers that the seller was negligent in selling the property, the buyer may be liable for damages. For example, if the seller failed to report a known hidden defect, the buyer may be entitled to damages.

7. Hidden defects can affect the safety and integrity of the building.

Hidden defects are those problems that are not apparent to the naked eye, such as damage to electrical installations, plumbing, piping, sanitation, drainage or even poor waterproofing. These defects can compromise the safety and stability of the building, as well as put the people living in the building at risk. If a building presents some of these problems, it may suffer a total or partial collapse, depending on the degree of damage. The defects can also cause detachment of bricks, buckling, discoloration and detachment of coatings, paints, finishes and tiles. Therefore, it is important to detect them in time to be able to take the corresponding measures to avoid further damage.

What to take into account when buying a property with hidden faults

Nature and severity

When buying a property with hidden defects, it is important to take into account the type and seriousness of the defects. The most common defects are usually dampness, leaks and leaks, and have their origin in a bad waterproofing of the house or in deteriorated pipes. Their seriousness can vary depending on their origin, so it is important to take the necessary measures to solve them in time so that they do not worsen over time. On the other hand, other defects such as rising damp, the use of aluminous cement, the existence of pests, poor thermal and acoustic insulation or cracks in the construction can also be a problem and should also be taken into account when buying a property.

Identification possibilities

What are the possibilities of identifying hidden defects in a property?

To identify hidden defects in a property, a thorough inspection and testing is recommended to detect any defects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Among some of the elements to check are:

  • Thermal and acoustic insulation.
  • Tile lifting or paint imperfections
  • Problems with electrical installations
  • Structural and foundation imperfections
  • Dampness, leaks and filtrations
  • Defects in plumbing and water networks
  • CEV certification for new homes
  • Stipulate a contract with the seller to be responsible for hidden defects.

3. Meaning in legal terms

The legal definition of a hidden defect in terms is a defect in a dwelling that was not detected by the buyer prior to purchase and that affects the habitability or value of the dwelling. This is regulated in article 1484 of the Spanish Civil Code. These hidden defects can be anything from structural flaws to safety defects. This definition is taken as a protection for buyers to prevent them from being cheated when purchasing homes with hidden defects.

4. Risk and Concern

The risks and concerns to consider when buying a property with hidden defects are:

  1. The possibility of incurring significant additional expenses, as the defects may not be apparent at the time of purchase.
  2. The fact that the damage may affect the habitability of the property or its value.
  3. The need for a professional to assess the extent of the damage and the best way to deal with the situation.
  4. The economic uncertainty and the escalation of rates that may influence the acquisition decision.
  5. The possibility that the property may have rising damp, poor thermal and acoustic insulation, cracks, leaks, waterproofing problems, use of aluminous cement, and the existence of pests.

5. Threats and dangers

Hidden defects are those serious problems that cannot be seen with the naked eye at the time of purchase of a property, and the seller is responsible for them. This includes damage to the electricity, gas or water installations, construction defects, internal cracks, among others.

At the time of purchasing a property, these hidden defects must be taken into account since the buyer should not have purchased the property if he had known about such damages. This is not limited to a mere visual appearance but also includes damages that may reduce the habitability or use of the property, such as humidity, leaks, a deficient or poor quality electrical system, bad acoustic or thermal insulation, among others. In this way, the buyer is offered the opportunity to protect himself from adverse situations regarding the purchase of the property.

6. Classification and degrees of severity

The classification and degrees of seriousness are fundamental elements when buying a property with hidden defects and must be taken into account in a primary manner, since it is necessary to know which are the most serious and the least serious damages, in order to know which are the ones that can considerably affect the value of the property. If the damages are serious, the buyer may not have bought the property or, in the best case, may have paid a lower price for it. For this reason, it is important to know the degree of severity of the damages to a property, in order to avoid possible problems and difficulties in the future.

7. Ways and means

To obtain information about a property with hidden defects, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Perform a visual inspection. This inspection should be carried out by an expert in the field in order to detect possible structural or other problems.
  2. Request a list of hidden defects. This list should contain all the defects that may exist in the property.
  3. Perform a technical inspection. This inspection must be carried out by an engineer specialized in the matter to be able to determine the state of the property.
  4. Use advertising tools. It is recommended to hire a specialized advertising team to publicize the property and its hidden defects in order to achieve a fair sale price.
  5. To resort to the editor’s recommendations. Some specialized publications usually have sections with recommendations for buyers. There you can find professional opinions and advice on what to do in case hidden defects are detected.


8. Costs and financing

What are the costs and financing of buying a property with hidden defects?

Buying a property with hidden defects involves some costs and financing different from that of a property without defects. On the one hand, the interests are usually lower due to the longer financing term. This means that the installments are lower, but the commitment is greater. On the other hand, the risks involved in buying a property with hidden defects must be taken into account, as these can be more expensive than the initial price. Therefore, it is important to carefully examine the property before buying it. It is also important to have a budget for possible repairs or other unexpected additional expenses. In case hidden defects are identified, buyers have two courses of action: take legal action against the seller and/or negotiate a price reduction to compensate for the investment.

9. Management and maintenance

Before undertaking the management of a property with hidden defects, there are several considerations to take into account:

  1. Conduct a thorough inspection of the property to determine the need for repairs.
  2. Investigate legally enforceable conditions for structural or design changes.
  3. Study maintenance costs to prevent future problems.
  4. Evaluate whether hidden defects require any repair action.
  5. Consider whether it is necessary to engage the services of a real estate lawyer to handle the case.
  6. Understand how changes in the real estate industry affect the value of the property.
  7. Be aware of possible changes in the environment, such as new construction, changes in land use or zoning.
  8. Analyze the possibility of a sale of the property and the consequences for the property and the sellers.

10.Protection and security

When buying a property with hidden defects, it is important to take into account some protection and security factors. First, you should make sure that the property is registered in the Property Registry. This will allow you to have an idea of the possible defects that the property has had in the past. In addition, it is advisable to have a professional inspection by a qualified technician to detect any structural faults or other problems not visible to the naked eye. The buyer should also make sure that the documentation of the property is in order, and that there are no legal claims on it. Finally, it is important to make sure that the sale and purchase is carried out in accordance with the Civil Code, in order to have as many guarantees as possible.

11. Claims and liabilities

The claims and liabilities to be taken into account when buying a property with hidden defects include determining the seller’s liability for them, making sure that the damages comply with the established parameters, the fact that the seller will be liable for the hidden defects regardless of whether he knew about them or not, that claims can be made against all the individuals or legal entities involved, the seller’s liability for material damages caused during ten years from the date of delivery, the builder’s liability for damages caused during three years after delivery, and the builder’s liability for material damages due to vices or defects of execution that affect elements of completion or finishing of the works within the term of one year. It is also important for the buyer to be able to prove that the damage already existed before the purchase.

12. Appraisal and control

Proper appraisal and monitoring can help prevent the purchase of a property with hidden defects. A careful evaluation and professional inspection can alert the buyer to potential hidden defects. This allows the buyer to have a clear understanding of potential problems with the property before making the purchase. In this way, the buyer can make the most appropriate decision, whether to purchase the property or to look for an alternative. In addition, an evaluation of market prices will allow the buyer to properly assess whether the price of the property is justified based on its condition. This could help prevent the purchase of a property at an excessively high price for the condition of the property.

How to Identify and Claim Hidden Defects in the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Liability Monitoring (RMC)

Determine if there is a hidden defect in the property.

To determine if a hidden defect exists in a property, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Verify whether the defect existed prior to the purchase and sale. The defect must be prior to the transaction to be considered a hidden defect.
  2. Verify if the defect was visible during the visits. The hidden defect must not be visible during the buyer’s inspection visits.
  3. Check if the defect is serious enough to make the home uninhabitable or very uncomfortable. This means that the defect must be serious enough to affect the quality of life the buyer is looking for.
  4. Perform a proper inspection of the property. The buyer should perform a thorough inspection of the property for possible hidden defects prior to purchase.
  5. Notify the seller if a hidden defect is detected. If hidden defects are detected after the inspection, the buyer should notify the seller immediately.
  6. Provide evidence of the hidden defect. The buyer must provide evidence of the hidden defect in order to demand a repair.
  7. Negotiate a settlement with the seller. If the buyer and seller agree, then an agreement can be reached to make good the damage. Some of these agreements may include financial compensation for the repair of the defects, a full refund of what was paid for the property with cancellation of the purchase contract, or additional compensation for damages.

Completing an application to verify RMC

To complete an application to verify the RMC All-in-One Deeded RMC and Constructive Responsibility Monitoring (RMC) successfully follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the Infonavit website and enter your account information to access your user panel.
  2. Once inside, you will see the option to verify the RMC.
  3. Complete the requested form with the necessary data, such as full name, employment data, etc.
  4. After filling out all the information, submit the application and wait for confirmation.
  5. If the application is approved, you will receive a notification with the RMC results.
  6. Review the information obtained and verify that everything is correct.
  7. If you are satisfied with the results, you can now obtain a mortgage loan to purchase your home.
  8. Finally, request the help of a real estate agency to complete the process and start the purchase process.

With these simple steps, you can now easily verify your All-in-One RMC Deed and Constructive Responsibility Monitoring successfully.

Obtain a copy of the actions taken by the builder.


To obtain a copy of the actions taken by the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Responsibility Monitoring (RMC) builder, please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the builder to request a copy of the actions taken.
  2. If the builder is not able to provide you with a copy of the performances, contact the seller, developer, builder, technical management, project management or other individuals or legal entities related to the project.
  3. If, after contacting all relevant persons, you have not been provided with a copy of the proceedings, it may be necessary to make a request for information to the responsible authority.
  4. If the information cannot otherwise be obtained, consider taking legal action to obtain a copy of the proceedings.

Raising objections if you consider that there are unexpected failures.

To file objections about unexpected defects in the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Responsibility Monitoring (RMC), the buyer must comply with a number of requirements. First, it must verify that the defect was prior to the negotiation of the home. Second, the damage is required to be severe enough to make the home uninhabitable or very uncomfortable. Finally, the buyer must have proof that the defect existed prior to the purchase.

Once these requirements are met, the steps for raising objections to unexpected defects in the RMC are as follows:

  1. Notify the seller immediately and provide evidence of the defect.
  2. Perform a proper inspection of the property prior to purchase.
  3. Ensure that the damage existed prior to purchase.
  4. If the seller proves that the damage did not exist, the claim will not succeed.
  5. Verify that a claim can be filed within the first year after delivery.
  6. If the defect meets the established criteria, the seller will be liable.
  7. Demonstrate that the seller did or did not know of the existence of the damage.
  8. File the claim in accordance with the law.

Obtain indemnification if necessary

How can I obtain compensation if the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Responsibility Monitoring (RMC) is defective?

If the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Liability Monitoring (DMLM) is defective, buyers are entitled to compensation. There are two courses of action to obtain compensation for hidden defects in a home: the judicial route and the amicable route.

Step 1: Gather evidence of the existence of hidden defects. If you suspect the existence of one or more hidden defects, it is important that you collect photos, repair estimates or the certificate of a court-approved expert to prove it.

Step 2: Try to reach an amicable agreement with the owner or the seller. Both can send a registered letter with a cost estimate to reach an amicable agreement. If an amicable agreement is not reached, it will be necessary to go to court to determine compensation.

Step 3: Investigation of hidden defects. The time needed to investigate the case may vary depending on the seriousness of the damage and the time needed to carry out an expert appraisal after providing evidence of the existence of these defects.

Step 4: Activate the liability policy. If we decide to obtain compensation for hidden defects, we can activate the civil liability policy to partially or totally cover the repair costs.

Exploit the rights of image and location of the property

Image rights and property location can be used to identify and claim for hidden defects in the All-in-One Deed and Constructive Liability Monitoring (RMC). This can be done by following a series of steps:

  1. Research the history of the property: this could include researching ownership documents, inspection reports, and other documents related to the property.
  2. Obtain a copy of the Deed: This will allow you to verify the details of the property, such as the owner, location and price.
  3. Use aerial photography to identify hidden defects: Using image sources such as Google Earth, it is possible to check for structural problems, such as cracks in the foundation or damage to the roof.
  4. Conduct a physical inspection of the property: This is the most important part of identifying hidden defects. Using a variety of tools, such as magnifying glasses, ultraviolet lights and infrared thermometers, structural flaws on the interior and exterior of the property can be traced.
  5. Request a CMR report: This will allow you to verify whether the identified defects meet the requirements of constructive responsibility, and whether the seller must correct them prior to sale.

By following this step-by-step process, you can be assured that your rights are protected and that any defects discovered in the property will be addressed in a fair and timely manner.

Make claims before the judicial authority if necessary.

Before a judicial court, the claims corresponding to the All-in-One Deed and Monitoring of Constructive Responsibility (RMC) can range from the study of the typography of the defect, to the judicial process. For this, it will be necessary to distinguish if the defect is caused by an incorrect use by the buyer or by the construction of the property, for which a qualified professional such as an architect will be called upon to carry out the report.

Another action to be taken will be to issue a written notice to the seller of the situation and the damage caused. In the notification it is necessary to expose the day of the contract and the term provided to solve the damages.

It is also possible to resort to insurances that cover the total or partial renovation of the damages, for which the duration of validity will vary according to the classification of the hidden defect.

Finally, once all the previous instances have been exhausted, it will be possible to proceed with the judicial route. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to prove that the defects were present prior to the purchase and sale of the property in order to achieve a favorable solution.

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