Arrohabitatge and Caixa Galicia, the saving’s bank in charge of providing the bank guarantees, have been jointly and severally found guilty of contractual default and forced to return the deposit of a British claimant.
The developer, in a brazen display of arrogance, rescinded its agreement with the investor due to his unwillingness to close the transaction, on grounds that no license of occupancy had been granted on the development. When sued, the developer’s defense was based around the fact that the works had been halted by the Town Hall due to a dispute with owners of a neighbouring plot, the Spanish Railway Company (RENFE), a dispute totally beyond the control of the developer.
Roberto Leiro, for the claimants, successfully argued that force majeure, or superior force, could not be invoked because the Spanish Supreme Court has established that this ground to oppose fullfilment must be of a decisive, unforeseeable, insuperable and inevitable nature, due to its alienness, characteristics not appertaining to the delay suffered. And it was not because Arrohabitatge S.L. is a construction company that could have not been unaware of this matter since, within the scope of their activity, a neighbouring dispute is a vicissitude that can be expected to happen and prevented where possible, or at the very least warned of its likely happening, and never transfer the consequences of it to the consumer.