REALWorld Law


Limitation period

During what period of time following execution of a construction contract may a party to that agreement bring a claim in the courts for breach of contract?



Under the Civil and Commercial Code, either party may take legal action against the defaulting party for breach of contract at the date of the breach of contract. The Civil and Commercial Code does however impose prescription periods upon the cause of action as follows:

Two years

  • Claims by merchants, industrialists, manufacturers, artisans and those who practice industrial arts, for the delivery of goods, performance of work and care of others' affairs, including disbursements, unless the service is rendered for the business of the debtor
  • Claims by employees, whether they be permanent, temporary or day workers, and apprentices, for wages or other remuneration which are not fixed, including disbursements, or claims by employers for advances made upon such claims
  • Claims by engineers, architects, auditors or those engaged in other independent professions, for services including disbursements or claims by the employer for advances made upon such claims

Five years

  • Arrears of interest
  • Sums payable for the purpose of paying off the principal in installments
  • Arrears of fixed salaries paid periodically, annuities, pensions, allowances for maintenance and all other periodical payments

Furthermore, a claim for damages arising from a wrongful act is barred by prescription after one year from the day when the wrongful act and the person bound to make compensation became known to the injured person, or ten years from the day when the wrongful act was committed. In addition, no action against the contractor can be brought later than one year after the defect appeared.

If no other period of prescription applies, the law provides a ten year prescription period by default.