This week I went through a strategy for a client who is building a house and has some issues with his builder, including:
- Variations not being writing – which will make it difficult for the builder to claim for those changes;
- The builder has tried to claim for installation and delivery costs in relation to Prime Cost items, when he is not entitled to do so;
- The project is 13 weeks behind schedule, with rent at $550/week being incurred and claimable from the builder
- The builder is trying to claim extra for items that are already in the plans and the specifications and so were part of the quote.
We discussed getting the issues into a table with the builder’s current position and owner’s position and submissions and contract clause references in support, to give to the builder prior to a meeting to try to resolve all the issues one by one, starting with the easiest and working down to the hardest.
It is a tricky situation because the house is near to completion and he wants to move in, but under the contract, the builder can keep possession until the final instalment is paid, and that amount is likely to be disputed. A last resort will be termination of the contract if the builder is in breach and the requisite notices have been given.
For assistance with building and other disputes, contact Michael Paterson & Associates.