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Construction defects – how to proceed?

As with purchase contracts, there is also a statutory warranty period for contracts with craftsmen (so-called contracts for work and services). This is five years, but can be shortened by contract to two years.

A defect in the work of the craftsman must be complained about immediately after its discovery in a registered letter. In a second letter, the damage should be described as precisely as possible and the craftsman should be given a deadline by which the damage must be repaired.

In addition to the free rectification of the defect by the craftsman (if necessary by substitute performance), the law provides for the possibility of deducting the reduced value of the item from the invoice. If the performance of the craftsman is even completely unusable, the acceptance can be refused as a third variant and the contract can be dissolved.

It is important to know that the so-called notice of defects (the registered letter) does not interrupt the limitation period. To prevent this, it is possible to interrupt the limitation period. The customer can either have the craftsman sign a “waiver of the defense of limitation” in relation to the specific defect or, if the former is not possible, initiate a lawsuit.

AMATIN AG  Rechtsanwälte / Rechtsberatung  │  Attorneys at Law / Counselors  │  Conseiller Juridiques / Avocats

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Roman Kälin-BurgyAttorney at Law, Partner

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+41 61 202 91 91

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