Since January 1st, 2022, Consumer rights have been strengthened through the entry into force of Decree-Law 84/2021.
This new legal provision regulates consumer rights in the purchase and sale of assets, content and digital services, transposing Directives into Portuguese law (EU) 2019/771 and (EU) 2019/770, establishing a legal framework of harmonization regarding the protection of consumer rights in the European Union.
In the case of real estate, the most significant change focuses on increasing the warranty period for these goods, when detected the lack of conformity related to structural construction elements, to ten years, instead of five years as previously established.
This extension applies to concluding a sale and purchase agreement between professionals and consumers whose object is urban buildings for residential purposes.
In this way, a professional may be held liable to a consumer for any non-conformity when the property is delivered to him and is revealed within ten years when structural construction elements are involved.
In this regard, a professional may be held responsible before a consumer for any non-conformity that exists when the property is delivered to him and is revealed within ten years when structural construction elements are involved, and is necessary to point out that the current period of 5 years stays for the remaining non-conformities.
When the property is delivered, it should present quality, safety, habitability, environmental protection, functionality and conformity with what is established in the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
It is considered that exist a nonconformities in these assets when one of these cases occurs:
– They do not own the qualities that the professional has presented to the consumer as a sample or model;
– They are not fit for the specific use for which the consumer intended that is considered that exist a nonconformities in these assets when one of these cases occurs: provided that the trader has informed of such use and has accepted it;
– Not fit for the purposes for which goods of the same type are normally used;
– Failure to show the qualities and performance which are normal in goods of the same type and which the consumer can reasonably expect, given the nature of the goods and taking into account any public statements on the specific characteristics made by the professional, the producer or his representative, particularly in advertising.
– Non-conformity with the description given by the professional;
If any of these situations occur, the consumer is entitled to have the property brought into conformity, free of charge, by repair or replacement within a reasonable period of time, to a proportional reduction in price or rescission of the contract.
This law gives more responsibility to professionals, resulting in greater consumer protection.