Disputes between builder and homeowner
January 6, 2021
It’s not uncommon for disputes to arise, either during construction work, or once it’s finished, resulting in the customer either withholding payment, seeking reimbursement or insisting poor workmanship is rectified.
Disputes can also arise where a build runs over schedule, either because of changes or additional works not initially envisaged, meaning the builder requires longer to complete the works and / or additional payment.
This is problematic for any business, causing delay in completing the project. Delay to one project can hold up the next, causing further ongoing losses.
It can be difficult to know how to resolve these issues, particularly when the work in question has been subcontracted, or where the customer has unrealistic or unreasonable demands. This could be because they have changed their minds during the work, carried out part of the work themselves, failed to take your advice or sourced their own materials. This can cause uncertainty and further dispute over who is responsible.
There is immediate disruption to your business when a dispute like this arises, in terms of both lost time and cashflow. However, the risks to your business could be far greater, if the situation is not handled correctly and is not resolved as soon as possible. Such risks include the costs of bringing or defending court proceedings, and potential damage to your reputation.
Before taking any action, it is important to take legal advice to ensure that, any steps you are proposing are permitted by your contract or terms and conditions, and are in accordance with consumer rights legislation if you are dealing with a homeowner. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be necessary for you to comply with the specific protocol under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. You may also have to go through adjudication or mediation before a claim can be brought.
A failure to ensure compliance with these matters could end up causing further losses to your business.
How can we help?
We can review the dispute and the documentation before advising on the most suitable course of action to take depending, with the ultimate aim of recovering the sum due to you from your customer.
Please contact us on 020 8313 1300 to speak with a solicitor today.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.