Consultation: I made a website for some clients one year ago. They have been delaying the payment with all sorts of excuses, like the economic situation, etc. Now they say that they refuse to pay because the work done is not perfect and there are some mistakes on the web. If I legally claim for the money they owe me, should I prove that the website was handed over in perfects conditions of use?.
Dear reader, thank you for your consultation.
Although the work was done, and the web was handed over to him, your debtor refuses to pay the invoice because he claims that it was done in a faulty way.
This is known as the exception of defective fulfillment, that means the debtor recognizes that the product or service has been delivered but alleges that it was defective. It is also known as NON RITE adimpleti contractus exception.
This exception it is different from the non adimpleti contractus, which relates to the complete lack of fulfillment or non-delivery of the product or service.
In the first one, your case, it is understood that the service was provided inexactly, partially or incompletely.
In reference to your question of whether you must prove that your work was done perfectly,… it is the respondent or debtor who must prove the deficiencies, problems or irregularities of the services handed over by the claimant or creditor, because he is not denying that the service was done, just that it was not as agreed by the parties.
Therefore if your client does not want to pay, he must prove the existence of the defects he mentioned, in the same way that in the cases of building or renovation contracts, it is the owner who must prove the building problems or the bad quality of the materials to justify his lack of payment for work done.
In any case, court precedents state that this exceptio non rite adimpleti contractus should be accepted only when the defects are major in nature and are essential according to the contract, and the claim should be refused if they are insignificant or minor.
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The information provided on this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.