Whenever a dispute arises under a construction contract, it is
essential for the aggrieved party to stop to consider its options.
It may sound obvious, but a party may seriously jeopardise or limit
its options by not following this advice.
Most importantly, a party may miss the opportunity to obtain a
swift decision on a disputed claim under the Construction
Contracts Act 2004 ("the Act").
There are limited circumstances in which a claim may be made
under the Act but if the dispute falls within the meaning of a
"payment claim", a decision must be given within 28 days
of the claim being lodged.
The catch is that there is a strict 28 day time limit from the
date on which the payment dispute arose in which to lodge the
If the application is not made within that time, the claim
becomes time-barred and the disputing party will then be obliged to
consider other options which may be less attractive.
A party with a disputed claim for payment under a construction
contract therefore needs to be fully aware of its legal options and
should obtain immediate legal advice if it thinks that there may be
an issue with payment. Failure to do so creates the risk that
access to the remedies available under the Act will be denied.
If a dispute does not fall within the terms of the Act, or a
party has missed the 28 day deadline, it will need to be familiar
with any other dispute resolution options under the contract, which
will typically require the dispute to be referred to arbitration or
determined by the appropriate court.
At this stage, it is critical to follow correctly the specific
process prescribed in the contract. Failure to do so may give the
other party an opportunity to delay the entire process by asserting
that the relevant Tribunal has no jurisdiction because the
necessary contractual dispute resolution steps have not been
The importance of understanding these contractual terms should
not be underestimated and, if in any doubt, parties should obtain
legal advice on their options.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Kott Gunning is a proud member of
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Many retail leases include a covenant to trade, requiring the tenant to open the premises for trade during certain hours.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).