PURCHASE OF NEWLY BUILT REAL ESTATE
The Law on the Protection of Buyers of Apartments and Residential Buildings stipulates that a seller may start advertising and selling real estate only when he becomes the owner or holder of a building right on the plot on which the real estate will stand. In addition, a final building permit must be issued for the property, and in the case of the sale of individual parts of the building, the seller must, in addition to the above, determine the general conditions of individual parts in the form of a notarial deed.
LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE SELLER
Before purchasing real estate, the buyer must check whether the seller is registered as the owner or holder of the building right or a land registry proposal for the registration of the building or property right has been submitted. In addition, the conditions for authorizing registration in the name of the seller must be met. If the buyer, despite the fact that the conditions are not met, signs the contract, he can withdraw from it at any time without any obligation to the seller.
The contract, which the buyer signs before the purchase, must be in accordance with the ZVKSES. As undeveloped real estate is often sold, the seller must attach to the contract documentation that sets out the technical characteristics of the building in terms of construction and installed equipment, as well as certain legal characteristics. If the subject of the sale is only an individual part of the building, it must be individually determined and entered in the land register. If not yet, the contract must also include all components of the condominium deed. Buyers are advised to obtain and review all necessary documentation on the property or apartment when drafting the contract.
According to ZVKSES, the seller can charge the buyer only the purchase price for the real estate, and no other costs, except for the cost of registering the property right in favor of the buyer. The seller can demand payment of the “ara” from the buyer in advance, which may not exceed ten percent of the purchase price and is later included in the purchase price. The buyer does not have to pay the purchase price until the conditions for registration of ownership in the name of the buyer are met and until the property is ready for delivery, as supported by the sales contract. However, if the buyer is in arrears, the seller may claim default interest and any costs incurred as a result of the delay. The seller can request the purchase price in advance, but only if he provides a bank guarantee, creates an appropriate custody account or provides a guarantee from the insurance company.
The buyer can keep part of the purchase price in two cases. Namely, in the first case, the buyer may retain ten percent of the purchase price until the seller allows him to verify that the property has all the properties specified in the contract, and in the second case, the buyer may retain five percent of the purchase price if any defects are found at the time of the acceptance, if the seller does not deposit or provide a bank guarantee to eliminate the hidden defects and in case he does not provide the conditions for the registration of the property right.
DELIVERY OF REAL ESTATE
The deadline for handing over the property to the buyer must be specified in the contract. The seller cannot exclude his liability for delay in the delivery of the property for reasons relating to the course of construction, regardless of whether he carries out the construction himself or the construction is carried out by other persons. For the timely and correct delivery of the property, the seller must meet the following conditions: a use permit must be obtained, the property must be built with the properties specified in the sales contract, and the seller, if required by law, must enter into a contract with the management services, and the manager must take over the common parts of the building. In addition, the seller must allow the takeover of the property to the buyer within 15 days of delivery.
If the buyer does not pay the purchase price, the seller may refuse the delivery, except in the case where the buyer may by law retain the purchase price. If the seller is late in handing over the property, the buyer may demand payment of a contractual penalty of 0.5 per mille of the purchase price for each day missed. Upon delivery, the seller must allow the buyer to own the property, provide a copy of the use permit for the building and floor plan, prescribed certificates, warranty cards, declarations of conformity for equipment and devices and projects of work performed.
TAKEOVER OF NEW BUILDING
Upon takeover, the buyer must thoroughly inspect the entire property and draw up a report on the takeover, which states, among other things, the requirements for the elimination of defects and deadlines for their elimination. The seller must allow the buyer to view the property at least three working days before the day set for delivery and acceptance. The buyer has the right to demand the elimination of errors found in the takeover, and the payment of a contractual penalty in the event of a delay in delivery. The seller is obliged to warn the buyer about this, and the buyer can exercise these rights only upon receipt, not later.
The buyer may not refuse to take over due to minor defects that do not interfere with the normal use of the property. From the day of acceptance, the buyer bears all costs associated with the use of the property and the risk of accidental destruction and damage. The seller is obliged to eliminate all defects, the elimination of which was requested by the buyer upon acceptance, within one month at the latest. If he fails to do so, the buyer may request a reduction in the purchase price, rectify the defects at the seller’s expense, or insist on a claim for rectification.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIDDEN ERRORS
ZVKSES distinguishes between two types of hidden errors. For defects that have the character of defects in the solidity of construction, the seller is liable for up to ten years from receipt. For other hidden defects that cannot be detected upon receipt, the seller is liable for two years from the receipt.
The buyer must notify the seller of hidden defects within six – if it is a defect in the solidity of the construction- or two months if it is other hidden defects. The seller has 15 days from the notice to review the defect, and then an additional 15 days to inform the buyer of the reasons for it and how he intends to rectify it. If the use of the property is prevented or severely hindered due to the error, the seller must rectify the error as soon as possible, and in other cases within two months of receiving the notification.