Our practical guide to work acceptance


Acceptance of work is a very important stage in any construction project. Not only does it mark the end of the project, but it also enables you to assert your warranty rights. Whether you're building a new house or apartment, or renovating an existing one, taking delivery of the work is the first step before you move in, and allows the person who commissioned the work to officially validate it.

In this article, we'll look at the legislative aspects of work acceptance, the importance of the work acceptance report, its legal status and the possibilities for taking action in terms of warranties.

Acceptance of work: a step not to be overlooked

Organizing the acceptance of work

Acceptance of work is generally organized by the builder. However, in the case of a renovation project, for example, you may have called in several trades yourself (plumber, electrician, tiler, etc.). In this case, you can bring them together at the same time to set up your overall site acceptance meeting, or call each craftsman separately. In either case, it's essential that all the parties involved are present.

The benefits of work acceptance

The benefits of work acceptanceAcceptance of work is an important phase in your construction project. It opens the door to the right to a one-year delay to have any defects or faults repaired. These must then be mentioned in the acceptance report. If defects are found later, you must notify them by registered letter and set a deadline for action. 

You need to be vigilant, because acceptance of the work is tantamount to a declaration of conformity. A detailed review of the work carried out is therefore essential. If the report is incomplete or erroneous, you could be faced with difficulties in asserting your rights and enforcing warranties in the event of faulty workmanship.

More precisely, the date of acceptance of the work corresponds to the starting point of the following guarantees: guarantee of perfect completion, guarantee of good working order, biennial guarantee, ten-year guarantee and damage to work guarantee.

The different forms of work acceptance

There are 3 types of works acceptance: express works acceptance, tacit works acceptance and judicial works acceptance.

Express site acceptance

Express site acceptance is the most common procedure, and has an amicable value. The client and the contractor(s) examine the site together and sign the minutes, with or without reservations.

Tacit acceptance of work

Acceptance of work is considered tacit when it has not been formally carried out, i.e. if no complaint has been made, if the owner has already taken possession of the work or if he has already paid for the work in full.

By taking possession of the work and paying for it, the client tacitly and unequivocally accepts the work as is, without reservation.

Judicial acceptance of work

A judicial acceptance of work must be carried out when a disagreement arises between you and the building contractor and no amicable agreement has been reached. A judge then decides whether to pronounce acceptance or to impose a certain number of repairs on the craftsman.

How is the work accepted?

Unconditional acceptance of work

Didn't you notice any defects or faults during your inspection visit? If so, you can indicate in the minutes that your property has been accepted without reservation, and that you accept the work. You will then have to pay the outstanding balance, either immediately after acceptance of the work if you are accompanied by a professional, or up to 8 days after handover of the keys.

Handover of work with defects detected

Handover of work with defects detectedDo you notice any defects or incomplete or non-compliant work? Then you must report them on the minutes as apparent defects.

You then have the option of refusing acceptance of the work and scheduling a new acceptance date with the company.
If you have no choice but to move in immediately, you must specify on the minutes that entry into the premises does not signify acceptance of the work.

Alternatively, you can accept the work, but with reservations.

All you need to do is specify all the problems encountered, indicate the deadline by which they must be resolved, and notify the company by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Declaration of completion

All reservations finally lifted? The time has come to declare the completion of the construction or development work. The DAACT (Déclaration Attestant l'Achèvement et la Conformité des Travaux - Declaration attesting to the completion and conformity of the work) must then be submitted to the town hall to show that the work complies with the building permit or prior declaration. This administrative document must be sent to the town hall no later than 30 days after completion of the work.

What checks should be carried out when the work is handed over?

The quality of the work

When you take delivery of the work, you need to check that it conforms to what was agreed with the contractor. It's important to take a close look at every detail, to make sure that all equipment is in working order, including fittings, electrical installations and so on. For this stage, it's entirely possible to enlist the help of a professional construction expert, who will then be held responsible.

Control points

If any problems are found at any of these points, they must be recorded on the site acceptance report. To make sure you don't forget any, you can refer to your works contract, which must include all compliance criteria.

All materials, equipment and installations must be checked: surfaces, nature of materials, electricity, heating, water, ventilation, woodwork.

Acceptance of work report

What format should the site acceptance report take?

We strongly advise you to formalize the acceptance of your work with a written document: the procès-verbal de réception. This will enable you to record any comments you may have, and provide a basis for any recourse you may have. Although not legally binding, your procès-verbal will be an essential document should you need to assert your rights, or in the event of a dispute with your service provider. The PV de réception must be dated and signed by all parties involved. Everyone should also receive a copy.

Contents of the acceptance report

Contents of the acceptance reportHere are the different elements to include in your minutes:

  • Identity of each party 
  • Completion date
  • Site address
  • Reserves, if any
  • Detailed description of each anomaly
  • Deadline for compliance (in agreement with the contractor)
  • Signature of parties


According toarticle 1792-6 of the French Civil Codethe acceptance of work signifies the end of the worksite and the moment when the client can accept the work with or without reservations. The procès-verbal is the document used to compile all the anomalies noted. It must be signed by all parties: the client and all those who carried out the work.