When we ask our building clients what one of the biggest hurdles for their business is, a common response is that they don’t have the time to keep up to date with their paperwork. This has led to many builders taking shortcuts and not completing all paperwork.
Taking shortcuts is a recipe for a dispute.
The following are 2 examples:
1. Notice to clients about variations.
Building contracts usually require a builder to provide their client with a written notice for variations. This notice usually requires details of the nature of the variation and an estimate of costs. The variation often needs to be signed off by the client.
If the procedure is not followed it leaves the door open for the client to claim that the variation was not authorised, and that the cost of the variation is not payable to the builder. The builder is then put to extra cost and time having to prove the value of the work done.
2. Notice to clients about suspension of works.
Building contracts provide stringent requirements which must be followed before a builder can suspend works. One common reason is if the client has breached the contract by failing to pay progress claims by the due date.
If a builder does not follow the requirements he may wrongfully terminate the contract and be up for a claim for damages.
Builders should familiarise themselves with their contracts and make the time for paperwork, no matter how tempting the shortcuts may seem!
For further information, please contact the Commercial Litigation Team.