In our previous article we gave you some information about the use of timestamps in the property field and presented you advantages of the certification of contracts and offers published on the internet for buyers, sellers and real estate companies.
In this case we will show you how the certification of an offer published on a website for real estate allowed a tenant to terminate the contract because the apartment did not correspond to the published offer and there were hidden defects.
Our client, originally from Madrid, got a job offer in Barcelona and looked for a rental apartment there. The house which he found on the internet was located in the old town and seemed to be –in spite of the age- in good condition. After the appointment to view, our client who wasn’t fully convinced of the apartment, certified as a precaution the offer published on the Internet in order to be able to prove possible hidden defects in the future. After consultation with the owner about the condition of the house and talking about the offer, our client signed the lease. The lease contained a clause which said, that the minimum period for the rent is 3 years and in case of premature cancellation of the lease, a proportional fee has to be payed.
It should be noted that the offer published on the website emphasized the quality of the parquet floors. Furhermore the offer point to the sanitation system, which has been renovated a year earlier with special materials and processes.
After nine months the fears of our customer have come true. Leaking water pipes caused not only humidity in walls and ceilings. Even the ground began to boulge because of the humidity and the lack of isolation. Our customer contacted his landlord. He denied the attributes that were written down in the offer concernig the soil and the fittings. The landord referred to the contract and demanded a payment of 1600 € because of the early termination of the lease. Of course, the offer on the Internet was no longer available.
By certificating the offer with the time stamp technology, our cutstomer was able to prove which attributes were written down in the offer, but later turned out that they were wrong. Thus he was able to prove the hidden defects and ultimately terminate the contract without paying any compensation.