The Act of April 7, 2017 is coming into force as of June 1, 2017 on the amendment of certain acts to facilitate the assertion of receivables. The Act introduces changes in the joint and several liability of the investor for payment of remuneration due to the subcontractor for the construction works performed by him, and specifically, the art. 6471 § 1 of the Civil Code was amended.

Pursuant to the new content of art. 6471 § 1 of the Civil Code, the Investor is required to be in joint and several liability with the contractor (general contractor) for the payment of remuneration due to the subcontractor for the construction works performed by him, the detailed subject of which was reported to the Investor by the contractor or subcontractor prior to the commencement of these works. Such liability will not rise if the investor, within thirty days of the date of service of the notification, filed an objection to the subcontractor and the contractor against the execution of these works by the subcontractor. Pursuant to the amended art. 6471 § 4 of the Civil Code, the notice and the objection require written form under the pain of nullity.

It should be noted, however, that the said notice will not be required if the investor and the contractor specified in the joint agreement between them, concluded in the written form under the pain of nullity, the detailed subject of construction works performed with the help of a designated subcontractor.

What is also important, upon amendment of the investor’s liability for the payment of remuneration to the subcontractors, the remuneration will be limited to the amount due to the contractor for construction works, the detailed subject of which results from the notice or the agreement (art. 6471 § 3 of the Civil Code).

Notwithstanding the above, art. 143c  sec. 8 of the Act of January 29, 2004 on the Public Procurement Law, was modified. Pursuant to the new content of the provision on the joint and several liability of the client, the contractor, subcontractor or further subcontractor for the construction works performed, the provisions of the act of April 23, 1964 of the Civil Code shall apply, unless the provisions of the act provide otherwise.

Summing up the above, it should be indicated that the previous wording of the provisions on the joint and several liability of investors against subcontractors caused a number of interpretative problems, in particular within the scope of the possibility of expressing the implied consent and the scope of investor’s liability.  The current provisions are to change it, which, of course, will be possible to verify no sooner than after a while, as the new provisions will apply to agreements on construction works concluded after the entry into force of the act in question.

One thing is certain, the new provisions are more favorable to investors. Nevertheless, taking into account their greater precision, it may turn out that the construction process will be less troublesome for all its participants.