Protect your rights and make a notice of defect immediately
Make a notice of defect without delay if your contracting party does not perform the contract in the way agreed upon – or otherwise you may lose your rights.
Contracting parties have both rights and obligations in a contractual relationship. If another contracting party violates these rights and obligations, it is necessary to make a notice of defect. Without making a notice of defect, the contracting party usually loses the right to refer to possible breach of contract and claim any damages it may have caused. The contracting party may also lose the right to refer to possible breach of contract if the notice of defect is made too late.
The obligation to make a notice of defect applies solely to the matters that have been agreed between the contracting parties. If the contracting party is not satisfied with other matters, it is not necessary to make a notice of defect.
The notice of defect must be made within a reasonable time after the defects or faults in the performance or delivery have been observed or should have been observed. The reasonable time is estimated case-by-case but means in practice a few weeks or a month – or sometimes only some days.
The agreement or law may set specific content requirements for notice of defects in order to be effective. For example, the Finnish Code of Real Estate sets content requirements for the notice of defect in real estate transactions. If the agreement or law does not set any specific requirements, it is usually sufficient that the breach of contract has been identified – there is not usually obligation to make specific claim damages at this stage.
If the contracting party is willing to claim damages, the claim should be presented as soon as possible. The time usually depends on how long it takes to establish the amount of damages. However, the contractual principles require that the interests of another contractual party are also taken into account, and it is not acceptable to delay in making a claim. In addition, it should be considered that according to the law, claims expire within three years.
If you have any questions regarding breaches of contract, or you need assistance in making the notice of defect, do not hesitate to contact NORDIA Law. Our lawyers will be happy to help you with any questions you may have.