Poland: Owner’s Liability to Contractor under Civil Code Provisions on Unjust Enrichment – Selected Questions | Miller Canfield


Three distinct parties are usually involved in the delivery of a construction project: the client, the general contractor and the subcontractor (or subcontractors). But while the relationship between the contracting authority and the general contractor on the one hand, and the relationship between the general contractor and the subcontractor on the other hand, are contractual, there is no contract between the contractor and the subcontractor. However, to ensure the subcontractor’s right to be remunerated for his work, Polish law explicitly provides for a situation in which the subcontractor, in the event of the general contractor’s default in payment, may request payment directly from the building owner. The legal basis is the stipulation of article 6471 of the civil code according to which the contracting authority is jointly and severally liable with the general contractor for the payment of the remuneration of the subcontractor. Section 647 sets out clear conditions under which the processor is permitted to do so. But as we will see, Article 647 is not the only legal possibility available to the subcontractor to successfully obtain payment from the client.

Originally published in PMR Construction Insight: Poland – March 2022.

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