Remuneration for black labour is not paid back even in case of defects

17 Juni 2015

On 11 June 2015, the 7th Civil Senate of the German Federal Supreme Court (BundesgerichtshofBGH) ruled that a person who had ordered a work for which the price had already been paid "under the counter" and which later turned out to be defective could not claim reimbursement from the contractor (docket no. VII ZR 216/14). In particular, he cannot claim the reimbursement of the paid price as an unjustified enrichment according to Sect. 817 sent. 2 subclause 1 German Civil Code (BGB) because not only the contractor by the acceptance but also the orderer by the payment violated the prohibition of clandestine work under Sect. 1 para. 2 no. 2 German Act on Clandestine Work (SchwarzArbG). Since, as a consequence, the contract is void according to Sect. 134 BGB, the orderer does not have warranty claims either.

The entire judgment can be downloaded here (in German language).