The system established in the Civil Code regarding hidden defects is superseded by Book VI of the Civil Code of Catalonia and its concept of lack of conformity.

Lack of conformity is defined by the criteria established in art. 621-20 CCCat to determine conformity. That is, compliance with the requirements established both objectively and subjectively. In the event that a certain characteristic of the good deviates from the requirements it had, the seller must specifically inform the buyer and the latter must accept the divergence.

Lack of conformity is a simile of breach of contract. If it occurs, different remedies may be applied: specific performance, termination of the contract, reduction of the price, suspension of performance of obligations and damages.

Lack of conformity is presumed to exist at the time of delivery or installation of the good during the period of two years. In consumer sales of second-hand goods the presumption is one year.

The period for claiming remedies is three years from the delivery of the good or its complete installation, but this period may be reduced by agreement between the parties. In consumer sales, it may be agreed if the sale is second-hand and, in any case, the period may not be less than one year. The buyer does not lose the right to invoke lack of conformity for not notifying it without delay, although the buyer can be charged with damages derived from the delay, unless the lack of conformity refers to facts that the seller knew or could not have been unaware of and did not disclose.

Sara Díez Rodríguez

Author Sara Díez Rodríguez

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