Contractors, architects and engineers as well as their clients have to focus their full attention on building law, irrespective of whether the project is minor or large-scale.

The Swiss Code of Obligations is applicable to contracts for work; however, various professional standards drawn up by sectoral specialists (e.g. swiss society of engineers and architects standards) are also of major importance in practice. It is the task of the lawyer to provide support throughout performance of the contract, to coordinate among the various applicable rules and, if necessary, to launch legal action (for instance registration of legal mortgages, extra-judicial expert’s report).

The issues arising for developers, who may be collective bodies or individuals, generally concern construction defects and related issues (reporting of defects and shortcomings, construction delay, redress, compensation), which need to be dealt with rigorously and diligently. An expert’s report is often indispensable.

Aside from some rare exceptions, a building permit must be obtained before construction starts. The procedure is often beset with pitfalls due to the need to comply with numerous legislative requirements (municipal building regulations, cantonal provisions, federal legislation on land planning, environment and woodland protection, etc.), not to speak of professional standards (such as e.g. Swiss Association of Road and Transport Professionals standards). Neighbours are often very keen to ensure compliance with the rules on distances from boundaries and heights, as well as rules protecting the environment (noise, smells, dust, maintenance of trees and biotopes). This may result in the filing of oppositions and appeals, which need to be considered with the assistance of a specialist lawyer.

The firm r&associés has specialist lawyers for all of these issues, who can provide you with the necessary support both in order to establish your rights and in order to enforce them before the courts.