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The Var département, like other regions of France, is not immune to the mishaps associated with building or buying a property. In this article, we will highlight the main concerns of property law, i.e. faulty workmanship, defects, latent defects and site abandonment.

Faced with the abandonment of construction sites, a real scourge in the construction sector, protecting your interests requires in-depth knowledge of appropriate legal remedies becomes crucial. Here are the five essential points to deal with this delicate situation and preserve your rights that we offer you Me Zakine, lawyer in Lille and throughout France, particularly in the Var and Saint Raphaël regions 

Advice from Me Zakine, lawyer throughout France and in Lille


The most common problems in property and construction law in Saint Raphaël 

1. Defects in the case of VEFA construction or under a CCMI or other type of works contract

A defect is a fault in the construction or finish (known as reservations) that does not meet the standards or requirements stipulated in the contract (contractual non-conformities). In the Var, as elsewhere, faulty workmanship can give rise to legal action.

Under the terms of the ten-year guarantee, the company responsible must repair any damage that compromises the solidity of the structure or renders it unfit for its intended use for a period of 10 years after acceptance of the work. The company is obliged to have ten-year guarantee insurance before starting the work, and it must hand it over to the customer, the client.

Be sure to take out specific damage to work insurance, which the customer must take out in the event of faulty workmanship. This insurance covers defects by paying a sum to the purchaser, without the company being held liable.

2. Disorders

Disorders, often confused with defects, are anomalies or faults affecting a building after delivery. They may be apparent at the time of handover or appear at a later date. The builder or developer must rectify any reservations within 12 months, corresponding to the guarantee of perfect completion.

Apparent defects are generally covered by the guarantee of perfect completion, which obliges the builder to repair them for one year after acceptance of the work. If the problem is serious and compromises the solidity of the structure or renders it unfit for its intended use, the ten-year guarantee will apply.

If the builder or developer fails to comply, legal action, including summary proceedings, will have to be taken.

3. Hidden defects within 2 years of discovery: don't delay!

A latent defect is a defect that is not apparent at the time of sale, but which renders the property unfit for the use for which it was intended, or which reduces its use to such an extent that the buyer would not have purchased it, or would have purchased it at a lower price, had he been aware of it.

In the Var, the purchaser of a property can take legal action against the seller on the basis of the guarantee against hidden defects set out in the Civil Code. They have two years from the discovery of the defect to take legal action.

Call in a surveyor or take legal action to have a court-appointed surveyor appointed to provide you with perfect proof and ask for the work to be carried out and possibly for damages.

You should be aware that if the action for latent defects shows that the sellers were aware of the defects, fraud, i.e. their deception, will enable you to apply for the sale to be declared null and void (retroactive to the date of sale) if the latent defects prove to be very serious and important and prevent you from living in the house.


1. Identify abandoned building sites as quickly as possible

Slowing down, sporadic visits to the site, blackmail for calls for funds, partial or total abandonment - these are just some of the cases (which are not exhaustive) in which a site may be abandoned.

2. Examine the clauses of the contract you have signed

Everything must be set out in the contract. That's why we advise you to avoid any problems by checking all the clauses of the contract before you sign it, and sometimes to call in a real estate lawyer. It is essential to review the terms of the contract in detail to identify specific provisions relating to deadlines, delays, penalties and termination conditions. The clauses relating to insurance and guarantees in the event of site abandonment should also be studied in detail. Check that the contractor has provided you with a ten-year insurance certificate.

3. Send the contractor a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt

In the event of suspected abandonment, it is crucial to formally notify the contractor in writing, in accordance with legal procedures. This notification must clearly state the delays observed, the problems encountered and the expectations for resumption of the work. This step marks the beginning and the proof of the abandonment of the worksite. To be even more rigorous, have a bailiff's report drawn up, which you can enclose with your letter.

4. Attempt to resolve the dispute amicably 

Before taking tougher legal action, it may be a good idea to explore the options of negotiation and mediation to avoid lengthy litigation, which sometimes requires a court hearing.

5. Take the case to court if you are unsuccessful 

If negotiation and mediation efforts do not produce satisfactory results, consider taking the matter to court. You may have options such as terminating the contract, hiring another company to complete the work, or taking the contractor to court for breach of contract and seeking damages. In such cases, it is imperative to consult a lawyer specialising in property law in Saint Raphaël and the Var to obtain the right advice and adopt the best strategy.

In conclusion, dealing with abandoned building sites in La Ciotat and the Var requires a thorough understanding of property law and rigorous strategic planning.

In short, dealing with abandoned building sites requires vigilance and insight. By arming yourself with these five key points, you'll be able to navigate this complex situation skilfully and protect your rights as best you can. If you need help, consult a lawyer specialising in construction law, who can provide you with tailored expertise and advice tailored to your specific situation.



You've bought the house of your dreams or had it built.

But you discover defects when the house is delivered and the keys handed over. Or hidden defects appear when you move in after buying a house that has already been built and sold by a private party. These are known as hidden defects.

  1. The letter of formal notice: the perfect proof and the ideal weapon to put pressure on the seller or the company, especially when it is drafted by a lawyer: send a letter of formal notice with acknowledgement of receipt requesting that any reservations be remedied by carrying out remedial work, or requesting explanations in the case of hidden defects.
  2. Call on a lawyer who is an expert in property and construction law to avoid making mistakes from the outset and to choose the right strategy.
  3. Call in a building expert but only if the expert report is contradictory, i.e. in the presence of the opposing party. Otherwise, it will have no value in court. You can call in an expert just to obtain his opinion, in the first instance, without the other party being informed.
  4. Judicial expertise: it may be necessary to call on the courts to appoint a judicial expert if the opposing party does not intend to conciliate or does not respond. The expert's report can be used to exert pressure and obtain compensation for damage or the removal of reservations.
  5. Claim damages in court: after the expert's report, you can claim damages in an action for liability for hidden defects.

The Zakine Cabinet supports you on the question of abandonment of construction site or as part of an action for hidden defects in order to preserve your rights and best defend your interests

Ms Zakine can meet you in person or by videoconference to advise you on the steps to take in this type of situation.
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