Falling out with your contractor
By Rebecca Huston
Disputes in the construction industry are common. Parties often fall out about the standard of workmanship, payment for variations and/or delays to the project among other things. The result of a dispute may be that the development or renovation is left unfinished or, if the project was completed, that the contractor refuses to return to rectify defects. This article considers the position in the absence of a contract and the benefit of properly documenting matters.
It is often the case that when acting for a private investor or landlord who has fallen out with his contractor that there was no adequate written ‘contract’ to speak of in place and so it can be difficult to show that the contractor was in breach. Care should always be taken when starting work based on acceptance of the contractor’s quote alone as it is often the case that only the basic points of what will be done, when and for how much are covered. If things go to plan, this may be sufficient. But when they don’t the developer may be left in a situation where he has contracted for one thing but thought he was getting something more…
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Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, a party to a construction contract is entitled to payment by instalments.