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French solar panel firm is delaying installation: what are my rights?

Service providers in France are required by law to complete the work in a specific timeframe

We look at the laws governing service providers and the time taken to complete works Pic: surasak jailak / Shutterstock

Reader question: We signed a quote for installing solar panels and gave the company a deposit. They submitted a planning application which was rejected but I appealed and part of the roof was approved for installation. Since then, there has been no progress, and every time I chase it up I am met with a new excuse for delays. Is there a requirement for work to start or finish in a sensible timescale? Can I cancel the contract or am I trapped with this provider? 

The first thing to do is re-read the devis (quote). 

Service providers are required by law to indicate the date or timeframe in which they are committed to completing the work, according to Article L111-1 of France’s Code de la consommation

Article L216-1 of the same text states that, where no date is indicated or agreed upon beforehand, the service must be carried out “without unjustified delay, and at the latest 30 days following the conclusion of the contract”. 

If no timeframe was specified, and the work has not begun after 30 days, you have the right to cancel the contract. 

The best course of action would be to contact your local Agence départementale d’information sur le logement (Adil) housing information agency. 

They have free legal experts who will be able to look at the quote and other documents and should be able to advise you on your rights and next steps. 

Find your local information point here.

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