The delay in VEFA and CCMI: what to do? By Me Cécile ZAKINE, Doctor of Law Lawyer in Bordeaux

Lawyer vefa real estate law

1. Compensable delivery delay

Acquisitions of new real estate or “ on plans » are legally regulated by the Construction and Housing Code. The sale of a building in a future state of completion (VEFA) and the sale of individual houses (CCMI) are the most common methods of acquiring a new property.

In each of these contracts, the law requires that the delivery time be specified in the act of acquisition. In general, the contract provides for a formula such as “ no later than March 31, 2021 " Or " at the end of the first quarter of 2021 ".
Once this date has passed, the purchaser is entitled to obtain compensation.

Or, dans la plupart des contrats de vente d’immeuble neuf, en VEFA ou CCMI, est prévue une clause dans laquelle sont listées les causes légitimes de suspension du délai de livraison.

The causes given are generally the following:
-  Severe weather
-  Third party appeals relating to building permits
-  Partial or general strike, abandonment of site of a bankrupt company, Covid-19 health crisis
-  Delays from subsurface anomalies

As long as the delay in delivery of the property is caused by a legitimate and justified cause, no compensation is due from the promoter.

Note that most contracts provide for the addition of a clause which has the effect of doubling the number of days of justified delay and which is worded as follows:
in the event of the occurrence of one of the events mentioned, this would have the effect of delaying delivery of the goods sold for a time equal to double that actually recorded, due to the repercussion on the general organization of the site "

The Court of Cassation, consistently, considers that this clause is not abusive to the detriment of the non-professional or the consumer because it does not provide a significant imbalance between the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract. [1].

However, if certain causes are legitimate, the developer or builder of the individual house must still justify their existence and their causal link with the delivery delay.

If the manufacturer does not justify the delay in delivery with supporting documents, it is up to the purchaser to send him a formal notice by registered mail to provide him with the supporting documents.

For his part, the purchaser must take care to analyze all the supporting documents given and, if necessary, contest them. This analysis phase can be complex and tedious. The assistance of a lawyer familiar with this type of litigation is recommended in order to obtain the best compensation possible.

2. Compensation in the event of delay in delivery

As long as the delay is unjustified, the purchaser can obtain compensation for his loss linked to this delay. It is necessary to differentiate between VEFA contracts and CCMIs.
Indeed, the legislation in force distinguishes them and certain provisions relating to compensation for delays are not valid for each of these contracts.
– CCMI: there is a penalty of at least 1/3000th of the acquisition price per day of delay [2]. –
VEFA: no legal or regulatory provision governs compensation for delivery delays
Compensation in the event of delay can also be contractually provided for in each of these contracts.
In the case of the CCMI, the penalty must be at least 1/3000th of the construction price per day of delay. This same penalty can apply in the context of VEFAs, even if this is very rare.
For example, for a residential house whose construction price is 300,000 euros, the purchaser will receive compensation per day of unjustified delay of (300,000 * 1/3000) 100 euros.
Finally, the purchaser can invoke any type of damage, as long as it is the consequence of the late delivery. Compensation for the delay can thus be justified by: –
An accumulation of the rent with the loan repayment –
A loss of rental income
– A loss of a tax advantage in the event of an acquisition governed by a tax exemption and rental investment system such as PINEL – DUFLOT – Rental of a storage unit
– Reimbursement of interim interest, bank charges
Each situation being different, it is up to the buyer who suffers a delay in delivery to justify their personal damage, either directly to the manufacturer, or through a lawyer.
  1. Individual House Construction Contract (CCMI) : The standard penalty is at least 1/3000th of the total construction price per day of delay.
  2. Sale in the future state of completion (VEFA) : Current legislation does not provide specific rules for compensation in the event of delay

3. Obtaining Compensation for Late Delivery

When a delay in the delivery of real estate occurs, the buyer has rights that he can assert. If the developer or builder cites legitimate causes to justify this delay, the purchaser must carry out a verification of the facts and, if necessary, issue a formal notice to claim his damages.

It is strongly recommended to consult a lawyer specializing in real estate litigation to obtain specific advice on the damages likely to be compensated, in particular because moral damage remains complex to quantify.

The option of an amicable settlement is often possible. In this context, a settlement agreement may be concluded between the parties, specifying the terms of compensation, including the period covered and the amounts awarded.

In the absence of an amicable resolution, taking legal action becomes essential to assert your rights to compensation.

Maître Zakine: Your Legal Partner in VEFA, available in person or by Videoconference

Investing in a Sale in Future State of Completion (VEFA) is a complex process requiring in-depth legal expertise. Maître Zakine, lawyer specializing in property law and in particular in terms of VEFA, offers you personalized support to secure your investment and meet your specific needs.

Multidimensional Expertise:

Maître Zakine assists you in a variety of disputes relating to VEFA, including but not limited to:

  • Delivery delays and contractual implications
  • Tax issues and the impact of Covid-19
  • Construction defects and implementation of legal guarantees
  • Compliance of the area delivered
  • Responsibility of the different actors (promoter, notary, etc.)

Flexibility and Accessibility:

Aware that each client has different constraints and preferences, Maître Zakine offers the possibility of face-to-face consultations in his office or via videoconference. This flexibility allows you to benefit from a high level of legal service.

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