REALWorld Law



Does the law state what has to be achieved before 'completion' of the building works can be certified and, if so, can this be overridden by specific terms in the contract? Who would certify completion of building works carried out in accordance with a construction contract?



A building is deemed to be completed once the works and associated essential equipment can be operated in compliance with the agreed use.

The parties are free to derogate from this provision and to provide for any other definition of completion, except for residential buildings subject to mandatory requirements.

The parties are free to agree on the mechanism and proceedings pursuant to which the completion of the building will be ascertained.

Contracts often provide that completion shall be as mutually agreed by the parties and that, should the parties fail to reach an agreement, an expert (either designated in the contract or to be appointed by the court) will decide whether the building is completed or not.

From a town planning perspective, the owner has the obligation to file a declaration of completion and compliance of the works. Upon receiving this declaration, the administrative authorities have from three to five months to verify if the works are compliant with the administrative authorisation obtained. Then, the owner can request a certificate of non-opposition to the compliance of the works.

Specific administrative authorisations may be necessary in order to be able to use/operate the building in some limited cases (eg high-rise buildings and premises to be open to the public).