What to do before the expiry of your ´Decenal´ guarantee.

May 2000 required a ´builders´guarantee´ on all newbuild properties to be insured via a ´Decenal´ insurance policy. It is important to note that the first guarantees are now in the process of expiring. So we urge people to act now!

If you have any cracking at all in your property, it’s important that this is assessed, and if appropriate reported to the your decenal insurers and architect prior to the expiry of your decenal guarantee.

If you have any concerns as to the condition of your property, it is important that you seek a professional opinion. What might look like just minor cracks could be the initial signs of a more serious problem, for instance subsidence. You will have no claim later against the decenal insurers if you do not report this to them prior to the expiry date of the guarantee.

Court action is often required to get results from decenal insurers who are notoriously difficult to claim against and both existing owners and home buyers should be aware of this. Even when the property is under guarantee, it is very important to have a buyer´s structural survey even if some developers and estate agents state it is not necessary.

Mark Paddon is a British Building Surveyor and Spanish registered Technical Architect based in Spain for 9 years. Mark has contributed to a number of Spanish property books and consulted for Channel 4’s ‘Selling houses abroad’

By Mark Paddon BSc Hons Building Surveying. MCIOB.CAAT
T: 962807247 M: 653733066 (Initial phone advice is free). Free 15page property buyer’s guide and advice available via e-mail request to
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