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Method used to assess the conformance of a building in connection with a sale on completion

27/08/2017

The seller of a building to be erected must build and deliver to the buyer, within the agreed lead times, a building in accordance with the contractual stipulations.

A couple of individuals bought a house on completion. Upon delivery, they made reservations concerning, in particular, the color of the facade, which did not correspond to that indicated on certain documents, i.e. the building permit’s blueprints, the advertising documents and the summary description exchanged prior to the execution of the sale on completion agreement.

As the buyers considered that the developer had not complied with its obligations to them, they brought proceedings against it and sought the payment of the cost of the modification of the color of the bricks of the house.

The Court of Appeals of Douai dismissed such claim, as it considered that only the descriptive notice attached to the deed of sale had a contractual value; the said notice did not mention any specific color for the façade of the house.

The Cour de cassation upheld this decision by considering that the change in color was not contrary to the deed of sale and the attached documents, which defined the scope of the seller’s contractual obligations vis-à-vis the buyer.

Cass. 3rd Civ., 18 May 2017, No.16-16.627

Authors

Picture of Aline Divo
Aline Divo
Partner
Paris