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T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience:  8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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We have been building a gite on our property in France, and

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We have been building a gite on our property in France, and commissioned a French project manager to build it as we are living abroad. The work that has been produced has been extremely poor as the project manager has not seemed to have done any quality checks. Problems include badly secured and dangerous railings, bathroom taps and fittings that have just not been fully completed, poor quality stairs, gutters that have not been fitted properly, etc. We have been now 2 years into a project that should have taken 1 year, but each time we return to check, we find new problems. We were therefore unable to rent this summer due to the delays and think we need to spend more to rectify some of the problems. We would like to take legal action against the maitre d'oeuvre and would like to know what we can claim for and how to proceed.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We will continue to wait - main answer needed is whether we potentially have a case to make and in what areas we could potentially claim damages for. Thanks.

Basically, what you can claim will be based on how detailed the contract you signed with the maître d'oeuvre is. The contract should make clear provisions for delays, and how you can be compensated for these delays depending on who and what caused them. How the deadlines were defined will be essential in such a lawsuit.
If you indeed wish to take legal action you will have to instruct a lawyer, avocat, to send summons to the other party. Your lawyer will help you define the nature of the action you can take and the amounts you may claim based on the terms of the contract signed with the maître d'oeuvre.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There are in fact no provisions for delays in the agreement signed. However the completion of a gite should not take 2 years. Are there any indicative references from builders we could point to? Are there any other basis for compensation - eg loss of rental income from inability to let this summer?

Then if the contract does not set any deadline for completion, you will have to prove wrongdoing or negligence on the part of the maître d'oeuvre. You may have to ask the court to appoint an expert to assess the work done by the maître d'oeuvre and his handling of the chanter.

As most contracts set deadlines, the other party will point out that he cannot be held to the same obligations... This is why there is no set reference to compare two jobs

You will be able to claim compensation for lost income from inability to let this summer only if the expert points out that the maître d'oeuvre's wrongdoing is the cause of the late completion of the gîte. This is why it is always important to set deadlines in contracts.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the useful info - can I also find out what the possibilities are to also claim for an overrun of budget - the initial quote (estimation) was 90,000, but the final cost was at around 120,000 with no substantive changes to original specs.

I am afraid I cannot answer this question without reading entirely the contract you signed. Did it authorize overruns? how was the budget presented? Were costs indexed or conditional? depending on all these factors, you may, or may not have to pay the extra 30 k€.

I believe that, considering the sums at stake, you really should have an avocat read all the contractual documents you have and help you define what your rights are.
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience: 8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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