12. Handover of Your New Home in France - La Réception
12.2. Unconditional Handover - La Réception sans Réserve
Where you are completely satisfied with the dwelling then handover can be made on an unconditional basis.
This is called la réception sans réserve
In such circumstances the outstanding 5% balance should be paid.
The financial guarantee of delivery provided by the builder - the garantie de livraison - ceases to operate.
If you are not accompanied by a professional advisor at handover, then under the terms of the contract you are granted a further eight days following handover to notify any apparent defects in the property, which the builder as an obligation to remedy.
This right operates separately from the ten year building guarantee - la responsabilité décennale.
You should notify any defects found during this 8 day period to the builder by recorded delivery letter. You have no need to pay the outstanding 5% until expiry of the eight days and, if defects are found during this period, you can withhold payment of the outstanding amount.
After this period, any defects that may become apparent will need to be taken up as part of the ten year building guarantee.
In effect, a somewhat artificial legal distinction is made between those defects occurring at handover and those found at a later date. In the first case it is non-compliance with the contract; in the second case it is a construction defect, dealt with under the building guarantee.
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