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The introduction of the corona measures has a far-reaching impact on many companies and individuals. Like many industries, the construction industry is wondering what will happen if agreements between the parties can no longer be complied with. Can contracting parties invoke force majeure or are they required to comply with their contractual obligations?
If a contract has been concluded between the parties, it is crucial to read it. What has been agreed with regard to force majeure situations? In many cases, the agreement or the general terms and conditions will provide what can be considered as force majeure and/or what is explicitly excluded from the definition of force majeure. The consequences of no longer being able to comply with the contractual obligations are often set out too.
If there is no contract or if you cannot invoke general terms and conditions, you will have to revert back to what the Civil Code provides in this respect. In some cases you can invoke force majeure or the doctrine of unforeseen circumstances.
Regardless of whether there is a contract or not, it is still important as a contracting party to submit the necessary evidence to prove that you will not be able to meet your obligations or not under the same conditions. If you are unable to comply with the agreements made because of the corona measures, make sure that you fully inform the other party in good time. If you are told that your contracting party will not be able to comply with the agreements made, you may demand proof of the force majeure or unforeseen circumstance.
Whichever side of the story you are on, it is always important to be reasonable and show understanding for the other party. Reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both sides should be the goal. If you would like to know how best to approach it, please get in touch with one of our specialists.