The DO's AND DON'TS OF ADMINISTERING BUILDING
In the Building and Construction industry there are many
instances where our
Building and Construction Law team have seen contracts being
administered incorrectly or not in accordance with its terms, where
the Builder has acted on promises of good faith, workmanship and a
good old-fashioned handshake.
Despite a Builder's confidence in the job and their client,
it is vital that the building contract is followed and that all
changes are set out in writing. The same rules should apply
regardless of who the building works are being carried out for
including acquaintances, family and friends.
Below we detail a list of some of the DO's and DON'TS
for builders to be mindful of when administering contracts to help
minimise the risk of future disputes:
DO ensure the standard contract terms are correct and
DO ensure that the scope of works is set out clearly and
correctly in the contract.
DO ensure the contract is dated and a completion date is
DO ensure the contract is signed by all parties.
Do ensure that any change to the contract or the scope of works
or any "extra" job requested by the client, which is
regarded a variation to the contract is put in writing and signed
by all parties. Make sure the variation clearly describes the
nature of the change, the cost and time impacts of the change.
DO ensure that all extension of time requests in relation to
the job are made in writing and signed by all parties.
DO ensure that invoices are issued in accordance with the
contract including all relevant documents being attached.
DO ensure that procedures set out in the contract for
recovering payment of invoices are followed correctly.
DO keep a site diary with all notes relating to the job, time
sheets of Builders and Sub-contractors and record all discussions
with the client.
DON'T contemplate carrying out any varied works unless the
variation form is executed.
DON'T carry out any building works without holding the
correct licences, building permits, DA approvals and/or any other
required council approval.
DON'T under quote for the scope of works set out in the
DON'T discard any paperwork relating to the building
contract for an extended period of time, noting that your liability
as a builder extends beyond the "defects liability
DON'T terminate the contract incorrectly. If you are
experiencing issues, seek immediate legal advice.
DON'T lodge a claim against your client prematurely. Always
seek legal advice.
While the above is not an exhaustive list of the DO's and
DON'Ts, you should note that in some circumstances, disputes
are unavoidable, even if you follow the basic procedures.
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.
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