Hereby you find some examples of agreements obtained by the Construction Reconciliation Commission
Description of the dispute
In March 2009, the owners of a new house complained of dampness issues in their home : heavy condensation on the windows and on the walls, puddling on the floor, mould on clothes, bed sheets, etc. The CSTC measured 90% humidity to an outside temperature of 10 to 12°.
A surveyor was then involved to play the role of expert. He said the owners should let the building "air" for a few months or should "heat it to dry it" : according to him, dampness had nothing to do with the black facing stones (which, however, were not suitable because they retain too much moisture) but was due to the lifestyle of the inhabitants, who do not aerate and heat enough.
The problem was never solved and the owners wrote to the construction company on 16 January 2012 :
" Dear Sir and Madam,
This is a formal notice. After several attempts, none of the problems identified (see final acceptance refusal) has been fully solved.
Every winter, in case of heavy wind and rain, water starts leaking (see attached pictures taken after the heavy rainfalls at the beginning of this year - January 9) above the kitchen window (wall junction on the back wall) and under the landing window on the front wall (see pictures attached).
We also repeat the defects reported in our previous letters :
- condensation on the windows when the weather is cold;
- continuous water leaks in the cellar;
- efflorescence on the front wall, even after silicon-based insulation;
- continuous water leaks under and around the garage door;
- water leaks along the small living window in case of heavy rain;
- paint splatter on the car port after repair work.
We believe we have waited long enough and will send the case to our lawyer if no action is taken following this letter.
Article 10 of the construction contract concluded between the parties en April 9, 2005 includes the following clause :
"In case of unsolvable conflict between the parties, the Owner agrees to use the conciliation commission of Bouwunie (formerly Nacebo) and Test-Achats before going to court. The Contractor agrees to abide by the decision of the commission.
On March 5, 2012, the owners of the house wrote to the Construction Reconciliation Commission (CRC) to see if they could submit their dispute. They sent the "Complaint Form" (downloadable from the CWB) and indicated in the subject line : "water leaks above the kitchen window and in the stairwell to the cellar".
On March 15, 2012, the complaint form was sent to the construction company E&D, who had to write their defence in the questionnaire that had been given.
On March 27, 2012, after it had received the questionnaire, the Commission invited the parties to a hearing on April 19, 2012.
At that hearing, expert D. was asked to analyse the moisture problems, to give an opinion on the question of a possible fault on the part of the contractor or architect, to describe the repairs and assess the cost, to calculate the loss of enjoyment and of course to organize the conciliation procedure.
On May 16, 2012, the expert and the parties met and reached an amicable solution.
The expert wrote a report establishing the following conciliation agreement :
E&D carries out the following work :
Upstairs bedroom (parents) : there is a dampness spot (capillary moisture) above the floor. The contractor will remove the ceiling and insulation and make any necessary repairs under the supervision of the architect.
Kitchen : the exterior wall will be torn open to check whether the terrace wall is weatherproof - the necessary repairs will be performed - the architect will monitor the work.
Front and stairs to the cellar : the ground in front of the facade must be removed and the insulation between the concrete wall and the concrete rock structure shall be repaired under the supervision of the architect.
Condensation on windows : there is a thermal bridge in the window profiles. The gap around the windows will be sealed shut with PUR; the wall exposed to rain will be insulated with silicone.
- Repairs will be made before the annual holiday period in the building sector.
200 euro + VAT for each party.