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Legal Advice on a Building Issue

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legal advice on wills


Sarah Bright Thomas is an Avocat Associe and Partner at Bright Avocats.

legal advice on wills

Sarah Bright of Bright Avocats

John P writes

I have a situation where I employed a local tradesman who, it turns out (and contrary to what I was told), does not have decennial insurance.  Part of his work has proved to be very shoddy and has fallen down.  He is refusing to repair it free of charge, claiming it was down to another tradesman (who he brought in and who has denied involvement).  What recourse do I have please?


Hi John,

Unfortunately, your experience is not uncommon, even if it is a criminal offence for a builder not to have a decennial insurance.  You have a recourse against the builder, despite the fact that he does not have decennial insurance.  In this case, it means that the builder will have to pay the condemnation, not his insurance.

The first step is to petition the court to obtain the appointment of a legal construction expert who will come to the property, assess the issue and set a figure for the repairs.  Based on that report, the second step is to petition the court to obtain compensation based on the expert’s report.  We often advise the client to first and foremost obtain a quote to repair the issue.

As construction litigations are expensive procedures, the costs to repair are sometimes not worth the costs of the litigation.  However, you can let the builder know that if he does not carry out the repair you have the option of filing a criminal complaint against him.  Indeed, the absence of decennial insurance can cost up to six months imprisonment and a 75,000€ fine.

First published in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Shutterstock and Bright Avocats