May 30, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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House of Luna and Sven from Haaltert have been uninhabitable for several months due to a failed roof renovation: “The contractor has not been heard from again, we are mentally exhausted”

House of Luna and Sven from Haaltert have been uninhabitable for several months due to a failed roof renovation: “The contractor has not been heard from again, we are mentally exhausted”

What can you do if this happens to you?

According to Tim Derink, a lawyer specializing in construction law, you should always declare the contractor at fault if the work is not carried out as agreed upon. On the one hand to complete the work. On the other hand, also to repair damage. Always do this in writing, by registered letter, and also by regular mail and email. This way you can make sure your message gets to the contractor.

State clearly in the notice of default what you expect from the contractor and what the penalties or consequences will be if he does not comply. Also set a clear deadline by which the contractor must take action.

What if your contractor is no longer available?

If you declare the contractor at fault because they did not complete the work, it does not automatically mean that your site will be closed forever or that you will automatically have to go to court.

Belgian law provides the option of replacing the defaulting contractor with another contractor or terminating the agreement permanently. You must be able to prove that the contractor is at fault.

You can do this by making a site visit with an expert or preparer. Find out in advance how to handle this. If you replace the contractor, you must be able to prove that the work is urgent and there must also be a clear breach of contract on the contractor's part.

What if your contractor does not properly protect the site and there is damage?

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You can also declare the contractor at fault for his damages. The contractor has a so-called duty of care, as he must ensure that the site can withstand rain and storms.

Do you have damage? Point this out to your fire insurance company. He will seek compensation from the contractor's insurance for the damages he sustained. If the damage is extensive, there's a chance the contractor's insurance won't get involved. In this case you must file a lawsuit against the contractor.

You can always contact the Consumer Ombudsman Service if you experience building damage. www.consumentenombudsdienst.be.