The Law of Hidden Defects in Mexico
Hidden defects are an important point in the process of purchasing a property in Mexico. The definition of hidden defects is those possible defects that a property may have, which could not be known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
A defect is classified as a “hidden defect” if:
- It is not obvious and cannot be recognized by a simple inspection.
- The buyer is unaware of the defect.
- The property was defective at the time of the sale.
The seller is responsible for a hidden defect even if they were unaware of the defect.
The seller will be obliged to repair or compensate for the hidden defects if the defect makes it improper for the intended use (multi-family/residential);
or if the defects diminish the property in such way that if the buyer knew about the defect, they would not have acquired the property or they would have paid a lower price for it.
On the other hand, the seller shall not be liable for defects which manifest or that are in plain sight, or if the buyer is an expert and because of his trade or profession, should have recognized the defects.
The buyer will also have the right to be compensated for the corresponding damages if he opts for the rescission and proves bad faith on the part of the seller, that is, that the seller knew about the hidden defects of the property and did not disclose them to the buyer.
The qualification of the defects of the alienated property will be performed by experts appointed by the parties, and by a third party who will choose the judge in the case of discord.
The seller would not be liable for redhibitory defects if the acquirer obtained the property in auction or by adjudication.
Consumer guarantees may not be less than five years for structural issues and three years for waterproofing. For other items, the minimum warranty will be one year. All terms will be counted from the actual delivery of the property. In the time that the warranty lasts, the seller shall be obliged to perform, at no cost to the consumer, any act tending to repair defects or defects presented by the object of the contract.
Once the property has been repaired, the guarantee will be initiated in respect to the repairs made, as well as in relation to the parts or goods that have been replaced and will continue with respect to the rest of the property.