Construction Newsletter | October 2014
Building is not an ordinary endeavor. The economic stakes, the projects’ relative size (for individuals and enterprises alike) and the material consequences of a defective performance warrant the existence of a specific statutory and regulatory scheme.
However, in addition to the rules directly set forth in applicable provisions, many situations lead the Cour de Cassation to define in this area essential principles, notably as regards the compensation of architects in cases where a project appears to be unusable, or as regards the principles applicable in case of sale of the erected property, or in cases where constructions are built in an erroneous location.
At the same time, while the principle and legal effect of the notion of tacit acceptance have been affirmed for a long time, as well as the consequences of the recognition of the principle of the insurer’s guarantee, the court of appeals’ failure to assimilate these notions is a constant cause of astonishment.
Finally, the scope of certain provisions is gradually delineated, e.g. the application of the construction subcontracting rules to a demolition contract.
Strengthening of the obligations weighing on the principal vis-à-vis its subcontractor’s employees
The Act of 10 July 2014, which aimed at the suppression of unfair social competition (the “Savary” Act), includes an entire series of provisions strengthening the obligations incumbent on principals in case of subcontracting...
Cass. 3rd Civ., 9 July 2014, no.13-13.931: consequences of an unspecific descriptive notice
Cass. 3rd Civ., 17 September 2014, no.12-24.122 and 12-24.612: consequences of an error in the location of the construction
Execution of private works contracts
Cass. 3rd Civ., 25 June 2014, no.13-19.018: tacit acceptance of the works
Cass. 3rd Civ., 11 June 2014, no.13-17.328: architect's fees
Cass. 3rd Civ., 17 September 2014, no.13-21.747: effects of the recognition on the statute of limitations as regards all tangible and intangible losses following the malfunctions
Cass. 3rd Civ., 24 September 2014, no.13-14.404: demolition works characterized as “construction works” for the purposes of Article 14-1 of the Act of 31 December 1975
Statutory liability of builders
Cass. 3rd Civ., 11 June 2014, no.13-16.844: application of the de jure ten-year warranty to any equipment item (whether or not separable from the construction) whenever the malfunction affecting the same makes the whole of the construction unfit for its intended use
Other liability theories
Cass. 3rd Civ., 9 July 2014, no.13-15.923: "in case of sale, the project owner conveys to the buyer, independently from the seller, the rights and actions held by the project owner as a result of the construction of the building"