02 Aug Spanish Supreme Court condemns a promoter who sold apartments as if they were to have views, due to misleading publicity.
The Spanish Supreme Court’s judgement recently published is bringing a somehow renewed and fresh approach in this matter and is based on the idea that the consumer’s defence on a house’s purchase is performed through a set of legal rules not only previous but also following the time of the sales contract. Those rules are about the existence of a guaranty for specific and accurate information regarding the asset to be sold, and such guaranty shall force the vendor to comply with the existing publicity normative and to be truthful and not misleading in specific cases related to the house’s physical and legal characteristics.
The Judgement goes on explaining that the home sales contracts are within the scope of present legal rules of Consumer’s defence and also develop the Spanish Constitution. In such field the buyer’s rights to receive a copy of several documents about the property and the sales contract’s price are determined in a wide sense by the product’s offer, including the one being subject of publicity, and more importantly, by the contract’s documentation. The matter is after all about the buyer having means to reach an accurate picture that allows him to know what he is going to buy and the seller assuming the essential legally binding obligation to deliver the sold asset once this has reached real physical existence and thus fulfilling what has been offered in the qualities’ inventory as well as in the publicity elements included within the contract’s contents.
If, with the aim of attracting buyers, the publicity is not limited to the development of the lands on which the buildings were built but included an informative content and offered a different image of the urban environs within which the buildings were located thus creating a confidence in the buyer about his house individually, as well as the building as a whole, was to be developed in a specific way that later on did not correspond to the publicity existing prior to the sale’s contract, then such publicity is certainly misleading.
Even if the seller had permissions to develop the surrounding and adjacent areas, this did not release the seller whatsoever of his obligations as per the contracts signed with the buyers no matter if somewhere within the publicity there was a paragraph saying “pending approval” since the reality of things is not supplied to a medium purchaser and, contrary to that, he has been offered something pending approval but then it is not that the elements subject to approval were something different than what was offered to him.
The Judgement ends reasoning that the publicity’s importance within the process of taking decisions by an average buyer is getting bigger with time as it is also bigger the possibility to create a fake expectation that deprives him of the possibility of evaluating the convenience about taking a house with a set of given conditions. It is a fact that the selling company the Judgement condemns did not deliver to the buyers all that was announced in its publicity activity and that was promised as the subject of the respective sales contracts, and such thing caused them an evident damage the legal consequences of which have nothing to do with the business expectative the defaulting seller tried to get with such unlawful action.