Lawyers in the field of abandonment of work
Unjustified interruption of work over a long period of time, temporary stoppage of work, it is sometimes difficult to define what constitutes a stoppage of work. However, this abandonment can be justified in certain cases, notably in cases of force majeure, which makes the situation even more complex. The Goldwin law firm and its lawyers in the field of abandonment of work have a considerable experience in this field and will be the most able to advise you on this question.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to know what recourse is available to you.
Abandonment of work is characterized by an unjustified interruption of work over an abnormally long period. It is different from a simple temporary stop of the work. Nevertheless, certain situations justify the possibility for the contractor to abandon the site. Indeed, it happens that the contractor is confronted with a case of force majeure which prevents him from continuing the work. However, a contractor who abandons the site without any real reason is in breach of his obligations.
From the very beginning of the procedure, the use of a lawyer specializing in abandonment of work represents a possibility. The Goldwin law firm is at your disposal in case of litigation and to accompany you from the beginning to the end of this litigation.
What to do in case of abandonment ?
Formal notice to the contractor concerned
First of all, the defaulting contractor must be given formal notice by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. The objective here is to demand that he resumes the execution of the work within a determined period. This letter must mention the delivery date provided for in the contract signed between the client and the contractor. Once this delivery date has passed, it is possible to consider the application of possible penalties for delay.
Nevertheless, the inertia of the company is often due to financial difficulties or to a collective procedure in progress, for example a judicial recovery. In this case, you will have to send the formal notice to the judicial administrator representing the company. The latter has one month to respond. Finally, it should be noted that a silence on his part is equivalent to a refusal to continue the work.
For this, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers in site abandonment. They will accompany you in all the necessary steps to find an amicable and rapid solution to your dispute.
The report by a bailiff
If the contractor does not provide a valid explanation or does not resume the work within the allotted time, you must have the abandonment of the site recorded by a bailiff. The bailiff will go to the site and make a note of the abandonment, as well as anything else he deems necessary.
The bailiff will then draw up a report containing :
The work already done;
The remaining works.
At all stages of this procedure, a lawyer in real estate law or in abandonment of building site can be necessary for you. With his expertise, he will provide you with an often decisive point of view on the situation and on the steps to follow.
Your possibilities after the report
Requesting compulsory execution
The first possibility is to request compulsory execution under article 1221 of the Civil Code. Indeed, the project owner has the necessary means to pursue the forced execution of the contract in kind.
In order not to perform, the contractor must justify :
Either the impossibility of performing his obligation.
Or the possibility of such performance, but at a cost that is clearly excessive compared to the interest of the work for the client.
In the second case, article 1222 of the Civil Code provides an alternative. Indeed, the client may, after having the contractor’s failure to perform established by a bailiff, be authorized to have the work performed by a new company. This change of contractor will be done at the expense of the defaulting contractor.
Accepting imperfect performance in exchange for a reduction in price
The second possibility, according to article 1223 of the Civil Code, consists in accepting an imperfect execution of the work in exchange for a reduction of the price. The contractor’s formal notice is again a prerequisite. Thereafter, the evaluation of the work done by an expert represents a necessary step. Indeed, the expert will be able to evaluate the part of the work that has not been done and then estimate the possible price reduction.
Resolving the contract
The resolution of the contract on the basis of article 1224 of the Civil Code is the last possibility in case of abandonment of the work. This article applies in the case where a resolutory clause would have been stipulated in the contract concluded with the contractor. The client may then invoke it to terminate the contract. He may also ask the judge to terminate the contract or notify the contractor of his intention to terminate the contract. Once again, formal notice to the defaulting contractor is a necessary prerequisite.
Furthermore, you can invoke the contractual liability of the defaulting company on the basis of articles 1103 and 1104 of the Civil Code. These articles sanction the damage suffered by a party in case of non-performance of a contract. However, the compensation of the damage is only possible in case of unsuccessful formal notice. The client may thus obtain damages under article 1231-1 of the Civil Code.
Finally, when the work has been financed by a loan, the client can ask the judge to suspend the execution of the loan contract until the dispute is resolved on the basis of article L.313-29 of the Consumer Code.
On this last point, the assistance of a lawyer in site abandonment and real estate law is fundamental. He will accompany you throughout the procedure and will take the necessary steps before the competent courts.