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Construction Process In Bulgaria

During the past few years, a lot has been said and discussed about the construction process in Bulgaria and the vicious

practices in this area. One of the serious issues that arise from this problematic area is that many owners actually, face the problem with guarantee covered defects and the lack of action taken by the builders.

First and foremost, we should note that the law that regulates the construction process in general is the Spatial Development Act (SDA). The particular statutory act that regulates the guarantee periods is Ordinance ? 2 of July 31, 2003, for entering in exploitation of the constructions in the Republic of Bulgaria, and the minimum guarantee terms for accomplished construction and mounting works, facilities and construction sites.

Newly finished buildings enter into exploitation through permission for use or certificate for entering into exploitation issued by the Directorate for National Construction Supervision after inspection of the fulfilled construction and mounting works.

The minimum guarantee terms start from the day of entering of the constructions site into exploitation, pursuant to the abovementioned Ordinance.

There are two major construction categories which determine the guarantee terms.

The first category refers to the newly fulfilled constructions of buildings and facilities, including for the earth basis under them. The minimum guarantee term stipulated by the law is 10 years, which means that, even if the minimum guarantee period stated in the contract is shorter, the legally determined period shall prevail.

The next category relates to the mounting in the building and the insulation. According to Art. 20, section 4, para 3, the legal guarantee term for hydro-insulation, heat-insulation, noise-insulation and anti-corrosion works in buildings and facilities in not aggressive ambience is 5 years, and in aggressive ambience - 3 years;

The common mistake that is made regarding this regulation is that sometimes owners confuse the two types of guarantee terms and believe that the hydro-insulation of the building or the roof construction is a part of the 10-year guarantee. Unfortunately, it is part of the second construction category, which we already mentioned about, and the term applied for this is 5 years.

All types of finishing works, insulation, electricity and water supply necessary for obtaining Act 16, are also a part of the 5-year minimum guarantee term.

Another issue, that deserves your attention, is that very often developers disregard owners' complaints about the bad construction or the poor maintenance. Usually, when they try to persuade the developer that the building needs serious repairing, developers either refuse or postpone on purpose, fulfilling the requirements, and miss the legal minimum guarantee.

According to our research, experience and overall impressions, developers shift the liability on the owners, explaining that the problems in the building are due to poor exploitation.

The most often problems are related to roof leakage or functioning of the different installations.

Provided that, no mutual agreement is achieved between the Contractors, the case should be taken to court. When a law suit is started against a developer, who refuses to perform these obligations, the court could rule in favor of the owners.

The above information provides only a general outline, of the legal issues concerning the guarantees in construction, and before taking any legal actions, we strongly advise to seek competent property solicitor's help on the matter."