China: 政府行为能否成为开发商逾期交房的免责事由

Last Updated: 12 July 2019
Article by Xu Chengwen
Most Read Contributor in China, August 2019

开发商逾期交房的纠纷中,开发商常用的抗辩理由是政府行为导致开发商逾期交房,开发商免责。综合分析已有案例,司法实践中此抗辩理由能否成立,主要看《商品房买卖合同》中对逾期交房免责范围的约定以及开发商能否提供充分有效的证据证明是政府行为导致逾期交房。

各开发商一般会在《商品房买卖合同》的附件或补充协议的交付条款约定:"因政府行为导致的开发商逾期交房,开发商不承担逾期交房的违约责任"。开发商提供的格式合同中对政府行为的定义包括"政府改变规划、政府政策变化、政府拆迁行为、政府指令暂停施工、政府负责的配套市政工程未到位、政府进行与该商品房所在项目相关联的市政干线工程建设及非开发商所能控制的其他政府行为等"。

一、政府行为可以成为开发商逾期交房的免责事由

(一)如双方在《商品房买卖合同》中明确约定了政府行为导致开发商逾期交房免责,开发商能提供充分有效的证据证明是政府行为导致的逾期交房,开发商可以完全免责。

李某某与开封市龙成置业有限公司(以下简称"龙成公司")房屋买卖合同纠纷一案中 1 ,李某某购买的龙成公司开发的经济适用房,双方签订的《商品房买卖合同》第八条约定:因政府部门相应城市配套不到位导致逾期交房的;因社会异常事件或非出卖人的原因致使不能如期交房的,买受人同意交房期据实予以延期。

一审法院认为,李某某与龙成公司签订的《商品房买卖合同》是双方当事人真实意思表示,不违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定,合法有效,对双方都有约束力。对于龙成公司是否应承担逾期交房违约责任的问题,一审法院查明,2011年5月9日发布的《开封市经济适用住房管理办法》第八条规定,经济适用住房项目外基础设施建设费用,由政府负担。本案涉及到交房逾期是因政府公共基础设施建设未及时到位所致,属于《商品房买卖合同》中约定因政府部门相应城市配套不到位导致逾期交房。一审法院遂判决龙成公司不承担逾期交房的违约责任。李某某不服一审判决,提起上诉。

二审法院也认为,经济适用住房项目外基础设施建设费用,由政府负担,本案涉及到交房逾期是因政府公共基础设施建设未及时到位所致,符合双方合同约定的逾期交房免责范围。二审法院遂判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

(二)如双方在《商品房买卖合同》中明确约定了政府行为导致开发商逾期交房免责,开发商能提供充分有效的证据证明确实是政府行为导致了逾期,同时,开发商对逾期交房也有过错,开发商可以部分免责。

温州泰源房地产开发有限公司(以下简称"泰源公司")与其在温州苍南县开发的泰源锦园76位业主商品房预售合同纠纷系列案中 2 ,泰源公司与业主签订的《商品房买卖合同》第九条约定:县级以上规划、文物等行政主管部门根据法律的规定采取某项行政措施及其他政府部门的原因导致延期的,出卖人可以据实延期交房。一审法院认为,《商品房买卖合同》系双方真实意思表示,其内容未违反法律、行政法规强制性规定是有效合同,即该条款为有效条款,对双方均有约束力。

开发商提出了三个免责理由,一是政府误征土地;二是业主闹事;三是台风天气影响。开发商提供了充分有效的证据,证明该项目确实存在政府误征土地的情况,一审法院也查实了这一情况。一审法院认为政府误征土地,非开发商主观过错,属于政府部门行政行为不到位所致,开发商此抗辩延期交房的理由成立。关于业主闹事一审法院认为不是合同约定的免责情形,开发商也未提供充分有效的证据证实存在业主闹事并导致工程延期的事实,法院不予支持。关于台风天气的影响,一审法院认为该县地处沿海,台风是该县一种常见的自然灾害,一般性台风对施工的影响在确定交房期限时应当已经预见并予以考虑,法院不予支持。

同时一审法院也认为开发商在房屋的验收备案登记过程中存在懈怠行为,对逾期交房也存在过错。一审法院遂判决:开发商承担逾期交房的违约责任,但是逾期的期限缩短为51天,业主诉求的逾期时间为2014年1月1日起至2014年7月30日。开发商不服一审判决并上诉。

二审法院认为3 ,双方签订的《商品房买卖合同》意思表示真实,内容未违反法律法规的强制性规定,合同有效,双方均应按约履行合同义务。工程工期的延误系政府部门误征土地的原因所致,并非开发商主观过错,属于双方当事人在《商品房买卖合同》第九条中约定的免责的情形。同时开发商也存在过错,所以,开发商可以部分免责。二审法院遂判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

二、政府行为不在合同明确约定的免责范围内,开发商不免责仍应按合同约定承担逾期交房的违约责任

济南中海地产投资有限公司(以下简称"中海地产")与其在济南市所开发的中海国际社区的业主之间系列商品房预售合同纠纷案中,中海地产与业主签订的《商品房买卖合同》中约定的交房日期是2015年4月30日,2016年11月30日才取得房地产开发项目分期竣工综合验收备案证明,此时才符合《商品房买卖合同》中约定的交房条件。

中海国际社区的多名业主起诉中海地产 4 ,要求其承担逾期交房的违约责任。中海地产对逾期交房的抗辩理由是政府的拆迁行为导致未能如期取得房地产开发项目分期竣工综合验收备案证明,导致逾期交房。

中海地产与业主签订的《商品房买卖合同》第八条对逾期交房的免责事由进行了约定:因出卖人无法预见和控制的客观原因(包括但不限于交通管制、市政停水、市政停电、政府指令暂停施工、市政规划发生变化、恶性传染病以及其他政府限制性行为等)造成工期延误的,开发商可以据实延期。一审法院认为,鉴于该合同系中海地产提供的格式合同,应当作出有利于购房者的解释,故中海地产据以抗辩的免责事由应仅限于上述情形。而政府拆迁行为并不属于上述合同约定的免责事由,故济南中海地产关于政府拆迁行为构成免责事由的主张,于法无据,法院不予支持。一审法院遂判决:开发商中海地产按合同约定承担逾期交房的违约责任。一审判决后,中海地产不服提起上诉。

二审法院同样认为《商品房买卖合同》约定了出卖人逾期交房的免责事由,政府拆迁行为并非《商品房买卖合同》明确约定的免责事由,中海地产应承担逾期交房的违约责任,应按合同约定向业主支付违约金 5

三、开发商不能提供充分有效的证据,证明政府行为导致逾期交房,由开发商承担逾期交房的全部责任

重庆石诚建设投资有限公司(以下简称"石诚公司")与成某商品房预售合同纠纷案中6 ,双方签订的《重庆市商品房买卖合同》约定的交房时间是2016年9月30日,但开发商石诚公司2017年8月22日才取得《重庆市建设工程竣工验收备案登记证》,此时才符合合同约定的交房条件。

开发商石诚公司的抗辩理由是,政府行为导致逾期交房,政府的电力配套设施没有开通,导致不能取得综合验收的备案登记证。但是石诚公司未能提供充分有效的证据证明存在其主张的电力配套设施没有开通导致延期的情况。一审法院遂判决:开发商石诚公司承担逾期交房的违约责任,并按合同约定支付违约金。石诚公司不服一审判决,提起上诉。

二审法院也认为,石诚公司提供的证据不足以直接证明存在合同约定的免责事由,石诚公司应承担举证不能的法律后果。二审法院遂判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

叶某某、叶某某与福建省涵江港涵房地产开发有限公司商品房预售合同纠纷一案中7 ,双方签订的《商品房买卖合同》第八条交付条件与期限约定:遭遇不可抗力,且出卖人在发生之日起90日内书面告知买受人的;因政策性原因造成延期的,出卖人可据实予以延期。

开发商主张政府行为是导致逾期交房的原因之一,但仅提供《调解协议书》复印件一份,欲证明政府未能依约处理征地事宜,引发纠纷致工期延误的事实。法院认为双方签订的《商品房买卖合同》真实有效。开发商提供的证据不足以证明其逾期交房符合《商品房买卖合同》第八条约定的免责情形,应承担举证不能的法律责任,而且逾期交房达三年之久。法院遂直接判决开发商向业主支付15万元逾期交房的违约金。

四、政府行为导致开发商逾期交房法律层面的思考

《中华人民共和国合同法》第一百二十一条规定:"当事人一方因第三人的原因造成违约的,应当向对方承担违约责任。当事人一方和第三人之间的纠纷,依照法律规定或者按照约定解决。"根据合同相对性原则,《商品房买卖合同》当事方是开发商和业主,政府不是合同的当事方,而是《合同法》第一百二十一条规定的第三人。

根据此条规定第三方原因造成的违约(本文中指逾期交房)应当由开发商向业主承担违约责任,开发商与政府间的纠纷由双方依法规另行解决。即开发商向业主承担违约责任后,再去追究第三方政府的责任。现实中不太可能,事实是几乎没有开发商仅因逾期交房就起诉项目所在地政府。司法实践中,涉及到政府行为导致开发商逾期交房的,也没有法院引用此条法律依据。

司法实践中,如果开发商与业主的合同中明确约定了逾期交房的免责范围,一般包括不可抗力和政府行为,不可抗力是法定的免责事由。所以各开发商都把免责范围的重点放在政府行为上,尽可能的列举出可能导致逾期的政府行为。法院一般会认定,此免责条款为有效条款,对双方均有约束力。如政府行为属于免责范围内明确约定的情形,法院则会认定开发商可以按照合同的约定免责。如开发商对逾期交房也存在过错,则开发商可以部分免责。如政府行为不属于免责范围内明确约定的情形或开发商不能提供充分有效的证据证明是政府行为导致的逾期,法院则会认定开发商按合同约定承担逾期交房的违约责任。

Footnote

1 开封市鼓楼区人民法院(2017)豫0204民初112号民事判决,河南省开封市中级人民法院(2017)豫02民终2553号民事判决。

2 苍南县人民法院(2014)温苍民初字第1198、1199、1120、1201号等76份民事判决书。

3 浙江省温州市中级人民法院(2015)浙温民终字第405号、406号、407号、408号等76份民事判决书。

4 济南市市中区人民法院(2015)市民初字第19号、998号、2787号等民事判决书。

5 山东省济南市中级人民法院(2017)鲁01民终6594号、6353号、6248号民事判决书。

6 重庆市大足区人民法院(2017)渝0111民初6725号民事判决书、重庆市第一中级人民法院(2017)渝01民终8623号民事判决书。

7 莆田市涵江区人民法院(2014)涵民初字第3706号民事判决书。

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