NEWS 5. Juli 2024 – Dauerbrenner Vertragstermine: „circa“ ist in der Regel nicht konkret

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    Imagine that a window delivery arrives later than expected. The dates given by the contractor were previously stated as "approximate". The client does not pay the Invoice in full, but retains part of it as compensation. Should he do that?

    No, says the Hamm Higher Regional Court. In the decision with the number 21 U 10/20, the court ruled that dates given as "approx." are not binding contractual dates. The trade magazine "Glaswelt" reports on the case in its latest newsletter, citing the newsletter "VOB & Recht" from the Verband Fenster + Curtain wall.

    The case: The client commissioned the contractor to manufacture, deliver and install around 300 windows. The contractor stated that the installation would begin "approx. six weeks" after approval of the work planning and would take "approx. eight weeks". Later, the client made specific deadlines, which the contractor contradicted and again made "approximate" statements. The work ultimately took five months. The client therefore withheld part of the final payment.

    The ruling: The client could not claim damages. The client's specific deadlines were not binding because the contractor had objected to them. The contractor's "approximate" dates were not binding either, as the client had not agreed to them. There was no clear agreement on the dates.

    In exceptional cases, the contractor's "approx." dates could even be binding if this was expressly agreed between the parties. In this case, however, the court saw no evidence of this.

    Important note: Contractual deadlines should be clearly defined. In the absence of clear deadlines, it is generally the case that services must be rendered immediately (Section 271 BGB).

    More information:…indlichen-vertragstermine

    Image credit: Pakin, | Adobe Stock | 558352059

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