The situation may arise for some customers to oppose the payment of expenses for repairs or repairs made by mechanics and coachbuilders, because they declare themselves dissatisfied with the work performed or simply due to impropriety towards the professional. In these cases, the civil code makes available to creditors an important instrument of protection, the so-called "right of retention", ie the right to retain the car until payment of the repairs made. But is it always legitimate to appeal to this right? And when you risk incurring the crime of embezzlement? 


The right of retention is effectively governed by the Civil Code, which in article 2756 states that "credits for benefits and expenses related to the conservation or improvement of movable property have a privilege on the assets themselves, provided they are still with those who have done the services or expenses ". This means that craftsmen, coachbuilders and mechanics who have carried out interventions or repairs in good faith on movable property owned by third parties have the ability to retain the asset to protect the credit accrued for the performance of services rendered. However, there are specific requirements and limits to resort to the right to retention. 


Obviously, it is possible to appeal to the right of retention if the performance was made in good faith. It is therefore not possible to retain the goods as a result of repairs or interventions other than those specifically requested by the customer. Furthermore, there must be a precise link between the performance rendered and the retained good. This means that it is not possible to hold back a car for a debt related to the repair of another car, even if it is owned by the same debtor. Finally, the right of retention only provides for the possibility of holding the asset back to the creditor, who can not therefore use it or pay it to others while waiting for the debt to be extinguished. To obviate any opposition from the customer, it is possible to protect themselves by submitting a specific form to be signed at the time of delivery of the car, in which it is specified that, in compliance with art. 2756 of the Civil Code, the asset will be returned only upon payment of the fee for the intervention carried out.