The liability period is ten years from finishing of the contract and begins with a warranty period that applies for five years regarding the contractor's work. The warranty period for materials and goods is at least two years.
About the warranty period
The warranty period applies from an approved final inspection and five years on for the contractor's work and two years for materials and goods. If the contractor has obtained a longer warranty period for materials or goods, the longer warranty period also applies between the contractor and the client.
These warranty periods normally apply, but other warranty periods can be written into contract documents. In that case the agreement set down by the client and contractor in the contract applies.
If the client has prescribed a certain material or a certain product, the warranty liability may be different for these particular items.
If the supplier's warranty on materials or goods applies for longer than two years, the contractor's warranty liability lasts for the longer time. But the warranty liability is limited to only cover the supplier's warranty commitment during the time after the two-year period has expired.
The contractor has the burden of proof
If the contractor believes that he or she has not done anything wrong within the warranty period, the contractor must show that any fault arisen is due to something else, such as incorrect project planning, deficient maintenance, improper care or wear. During the liability period, the opposite applies, meaning that the client has the burden of proof.
If a fault is substantial and it has been caused by the contractor acting carelessly, the responsibility for faults can be extended after the end of the warranty period. With a two-year warranty period for materials and goods, the liability can be extended by eight years. With a five-year warranty period for work, the liability for faults can be extended by five years under the General Conditions of Contract in the standard agreement used for the contract.
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