in civil law, a contract whereby one party, the contractor, is obligated at his own risk to perform a certain job assigned by another party, the customer, using his own or the other party’s materials, and the customer is obligated to accept and pay for the completed work. Among the types of work contract recognized in Soviet law are contracts for work in the areas of planning, scientific research, and design and contracts for providing domestic services to citizens.
Relations under the work contract are regulated by the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation (1961), civil codes of the Union republics, model contracts approved by the councils of ministers of the Union republics, and other documents. The performance of work that qualifies as capital construction is specially regulated.
The contractors are generally socialist organizations that perform jobs either for other organizations and enterprises or for individual citizens as part of the domestic service system. Work of the latter type includes the making of furniture and apartment repairs. In certain cases, citizens may be contractors, on the condition that they perform the job personally and that they have permits from local financial agencies that give the right to engage in undertakings that are not prohibited.
Under a work contract, the contractor is obliged to perform the job in exact conformity with the customer’s specifications, to do the work well, and to complete it within a set time. If the contract is concluded in connection with a plan assignment that is mandatory for the contracting parties, the deadline stipulated by the plan is mandatory for both parties. The contractor must preserve the property entrusted to him by the customer, and he is responsible for any oversight that leads to loss of or damage to the property. If, however, such consequences occur by accident, the losses and risk of accidental destruction of property are borne by the owner. If the contractor is a socialist organization, the price of the work done is determined on the basis of approved price lists or an estimate. If the contractor is a private citizen, the price is arrived at by agreement of the parties. Where the work deviates significantly from the contract or there are significant shortcomings in quality, the customer has the right to demand dissolution of the contract and compensation for losses. Upon acceptance of the work, the customer must inform the contractor immediately of any obvious defects found; if there are defects that are not obvious, notification must be given immediately upon their discovery. Where these requirements are met, the customer may bring suit against the contractor. In cases of evident defects, the customer must sue within a period of six months from acceptance of the work, while for other defects the period is one year.