8. Terms of Contrat de construction de maison individuelle (CCMI)

  1. Cooling Off Period
  2. Specification of Works
  3. Contract Price
  4. Stage Payments
  5. Works Programme
  6. Contract Guarantees
  7. Sub-Contracting

8.5. Building Works Programme

The contract must state the start date, the period for construction and completion date. If it does not, do not sign it.

The contract should also state the penalties that will be payable by the builder for late delivery, but do not be surprised if you have difficulty in finding a builder willing to accept a tough penalty clause!

The minimum penalty permitted by the CCMI is 1/3000 of the construction price per day.

Almost inevitably, you are likely to find that the build programme will run behind schedule. You need to anticipate this prospect and plan accordingly. You should also try and get a decent penalty clause in the contract.

If you can, you should try and get included in the contract stage completion dates for the property. In the event that the builder goes behind programme by more than 30 days on these dates, it triggers a liability to damages under the contract. You may also have the right to terminate the contract and seek reimbursement of any sums paid so far, although the builder may well be able to cite mitigating circumstances.

Thus, the builder can call upon clauses in the contract to seek relief from the imposition of penalties or termination of the contract e.g. force majeure, strike action. However, there are strict limits on the grounds the builder can use. The general rule is that the builder is required to comply with the completion date set out in the contract.

As these contracts frequently overrun the programme set out in the contract, you need to consider whether to grin and bear it, or terminate the contract, and commence proceedings in the courts if the builder is unwilling to reimburse monies paid.

Next: Contract Guarantees

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