If the seller of a home has done his work poorly, he owes several guarantees


The seller must ensure the ten-year guarantee for major work carried out while being responsible for construction defects, not covered by the ten-year.

The seller of a property who has carried out work there is, in addition to the ten-year guarantee, responsible for construction defects that do not fall under this guarantee. The ten-year guarantee covers the defects that make the work “Unfit for its intended purpose” whereas the simple poor performance of the work engages civil liability, which can be cumulative, according to the Court of Cassation (Cass. Civ 3, 1.4.2021, X 19-17.599).

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The case opposed a seller, who had himself done the work, to the buyer of his house. The seller had redone the roof, but without respecting the standards, and had created a chimney, without respecting the standards either, which created a serious risk of fire. Having carried out major works, he is reputed to be a builder, recalled the Court of Cassation, and he owes the ten-year guarantee. But he must also, as a simple seller, deliver a good without defects.

Correct Defects

There may be some flaws in the roof, but they don’t prevent the house from being used, they don’t return it “Improper” to use, and therefore the ten-year guarantee is inapplicable, said the seller. The judges accepted this reasoning, but they added that if the roof was not to be redone under the ten-year guarantee since it did not prevent people from living in, it had to be under construction defects since it had major flaws. The good had therefore been delivered with defects.

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