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When can I suspend my payments, claim compensation or terminate the contract?

If your contractor is unwilling or unable to repair certain defects or errors, you have a number of rights:

  • suspending your (final) payment

  • claim compensation

  • dissolve the purchase/contracting agreement

Suspension of your payment(s)

It may happen that the contractor has not yet carried out certain work upon delivery and does not carry out even after your repeated request to do so. As a client, you can then decide to force the contractor to fulfill its obligations by suspending your payment obligation.

With this you are actually telling the contractor that you will not pay the last part of the contract price, as long as the defects have not been resolved. This part must be in proportion to the costs of repairing the defect.

Please note: if you wrongly suspend your payments, the contractor can claim compensation for the  legal interest . If you have not paid after two weeks, the contractor can increase the interest rate by 2%.

Claiming compensation

In certain situations you can claim damages from the contractor. There are two types of compensation:

  • additional compensation

  • replacement compensation

Additional compensation

In addition to repairing a defect, in some cases you can also request additional compensation. Suppose there is a defect in the roof of the house, causing a leak. Your new parquet floor has been damaged as a result of this leakage.

The contractor will of course have to repair the roof, but you can also claim additional compensation. This additional compensation consists of reimbursing the repair costs of the parquet floor.

Replacement Compensation

Replacement compensation is compensation that replaces the repair of the defects. Suppose you have given the contractor a reasonable period of time to repair certain defects, but the contractor does not respond.

If the reasonable term you have set has expired, you can choose to engage someone yourself to carry out certain repair work. You can then claim the costs of this third party engaged by you from the contractor as replacement compensation.

Make it clear to the contractor that you will engage another party if the contractor does not proceed with the repair. Also state in the letter that you will recover these costs from the contractor.


There may also be compensation if recovery is simply no longer possible. Then you should think, for example, of the situation in which the contractor has used the wrong facing bricks that can no longer be replaced.

Dissolution of the building contract

Dissolution of the building contract is a serious means. In fact, dissolution means that the agreement is reversed as much as possible. You cannot simply dissolve the building contract. This must be an exceptional situation.

If certain matters are of great importance to you during the renovation, you can have so-called resolutive conditions included in the building contract. This means that you have the right to reverse the entire agreement if these things are not performed correctly.

You can terminate the agreement with a letter to the contractor. In this letter you must explain why you believe that in this case you are entitled to dissolve the agreement. In such a situation, you would be wise to first seek advice from a lawyer or lawyer who specializes in construction law. He or she can assess whether there is indeed a situation that justifies dissolution.

If the contractor agrees to the dissolution, all matters must be reversed. If the contractor does not agree to the dissolution, proceedings will be inevitable. This can be a legal procedure, but it will often be arranged in the building contract that there is a  special dispute settlement  should be followed.


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