Civil liabilities you should be aware of before starting any construction

By María José García Garrido

Since we’ve observed an increasing economic movement in Javea, Spain, and nearby areas — particularly in a higher level of investment in properties and in many of these cases the involvement of new constructions —we believe it’s important that all those presently building or planning to do so take into consideration, amongst many other things, the liability or responsibilities all those involved in any type of construction will be held accountable for.

Those who may be held responsible for the construction are outlined in the Law 38/1999 of 5 November which in Spanish is dubbed the “Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (LOE) or Building Law Ordinance.

 This is the list of those who may be held accountable:

1) The developer.

2) The designer.

3) The constructor.

4) The Project Manager.

5) The Site Manager.

6) Quality controllers of the building.

7) The suppliers of the materials.

The Law regulates the civil liability of those involved in the building process, as well as the guarantees regarding possible damages related to any and all materials or defects found in the construction.

The LOE states that the responsibility for any damages or defects detected may be placed on each individual who carries out the work.

In the case in which damage cannot be specifically pinned to an individual, then all those involved in the project can and will be held responsible.

The guarantees of liability are to be made valid for a specific period of time after the completion of construction and are as follows:

– Ten years for the developer, technicians and the constructor for damages or hidden defects in the building that affect the foundations or structure of the building.

– Three years for the developer, technicians and constructor for damages or hidden defects in the installations that cause a breach of regulations, which the property must meet to be habitable.

-One year guarantee to the constructor for damages or hidden defects that affect directly the finalisation of the construction and the completion of the work.

The maximum time period to pursue legal action for a defective construction shall be two years from the date of when the fault or defect occurred.


When the government made public the new version of the LOE, they stressed the fact that despite that the construction industry is one of the main economic sectors of the country, it was lacking a proportionately important piece of regulation.

The government also made clear that the main objective of the LOE is to protect the guarantees of the end user, which in this case is the property buyer and/or the construction company client.

The society is increasingly demanding better quality in construction and also improved structural safety and protection against fires, as well as aspects more closely related to the wellbeing of the users, such as protection against noise, heat and access to those with special needs, such as ramps for wheelchairs.

 For more information, please don’t hesitate to immediately contact:


María José García Garrido

Avenida del Pla 130, 1º, Office 1.05

03730, Jávea (Alicante)


tel: 0034 96 646 08 58 / 0034 96 646 08 59


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