Purchasers of apartments in a TAMA 38 project demanded compensation from the contractor after the delivery of the apartments was delayed for several years, while the contractor contended that the delay, at least in part, was due to the Covid19 epidemic and therefore beyond his control.
The Court held that the purchasers are entitled to compensation for the entire period of delay in the delivery of the apartments. The Covid19 epidemic is not a magic word that gives a contractor the right to an automatic extension, but a contractor must show a causal link between the epidemic and the delay, what reasonable measures the contractor took to remove such hindrance and whether he could have been able to prevent the delaying circumstances. The outline adopted by the Ministry of Construction and Housing regarding the delay in delivering apartments due to the Covid19 epidemic, is also limited and valid only to apartments that were to be delivered at the peak of the plague in 2020 and does not constitute a broad authority for any contractor, in any project, to delay delivery. Here, the apartments delivery date was to take place even before the outbreak of the epidemic and the contractor did not present any causal link between the epidemic and the delay or explain how the epidemic actually caused a delay in delivery. Therefore, the purchasers are entitled to full compensation for the entire period of delay in the delivery of the apartments.