How do I suspend operations during the Covid-19 pandemic without being in breach of contract?

Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on construction contracts Problem:  I have a situation that is no doubt going to be of huge interest to other contractors and companies allied to the construction industry (and indeed, all other sectors of the economy) – it is to do with the current coronavirus pandemic and the effect it is having on my building contracts. My construction company turns over in excess of £10 million, mainly new build with “How do I suspend operations during the Covid-19 pandemic without being in breach of contract?”

Delayed work given to another contractor – can I claim damages?

Sub-contract order given to another contractor Problem:  Your view on an issue we have would be appreciated.  We have a sub-contract order for just over £18,000 to undertake roof repairs.  The work should have commenced on 20th January 2020, but this start date was initially put back a week.  A few days before the revised start date, we were again advised that the start date had been put back by another week.  On the Thursday “Delayed work given to another contractor – can I claim damages?”

What can I do about a non-paying customer who is making false damage claims?

Non-paying customer now claiming damage Problem:  I run a small building company and most of my work is for the domestic market – extensions, alterations, improvements etc.  A few months back I completed an extension for a customer who has yet to settle the final account. I have chased payment on quite a few occasions without success.  So, on the recommendation of a friend, I wrote a stern letter giving the customer 7 days to “What can I do about a non-paying customer who is making false damage claims?”

I am at my wits end with a customer, and just don’t know what to do

Wits end with a customer Problem: Firstly, a bit of background information.  I am a builder, sole trader, with no employees and use subbies as and when needed and have built up a great reputation since starting out by myself in 2008.  In May 2019, I provided a quotation to carry out some building works on a house (owned by a husband and wife).  My quote set out the price for the work, the scope “I am at my wits end with a customer, and just don’t know what to do”

Can you please explain how the JCT Minor Works 2016 actually works?

JCT Minor Works 2016 – Please Explain! Problem: My building company specialises in refurbishment and our client base is a mixture of local authority work and private developers.  Most of the time when the company receive orders for work, it is just a purchase order with a few pages of terms and conditions.  Occasionally, a purchase order refers to the JCT Minor Works insofar that the terms and conditions of contract apply, and sometimes a “Can you please explain how the JCT Minor Works 2016 actually works?”

How do I minimise risk when taking on larger civil engineering projects?

Minimising risk Problem:  I run a smallish civil engineering contractor.  I started up the company in 2009, although I had little choice as the company I was working for at the time ceased trading due to the credit crunch.  Since then, my own company has grown organically and is now turning over around £2 million per year. Most of our work is one-off bespoke dwellings and small residential and industrial developments.  Over the last 18 “How do I minimise risk when taking on larger civil engineering projects?”

Can a contractor withhold retention on a project we are only supplying a product to?

What are the rules on retention? Problem:  Could you advise us if we should be allowing a contractor to withhold retention on a project which we are only supplying a product to? We have not yet accepted the order from the contractor because of the retention clause in the contractor’s terms and conditions, although we do not want to lose this order as the value is for around £90,000.  The retention amount is 4% and “Can a contractor withhold retention on a project we are only supplying a product to?”

Insurances required for self-build projects in the UK

Building our dream home and need to know which insurances we need throughout the project Problem:  After some time searching, in 2017 my wife and I finally found and purchased some land in Leicestershire, which meant our dream to design and build our home, would become a reality. We engaged a brilliant architect, and although planning was not quite plain-sailing, permission was eventually granted earlier this year.  We are still at the pre-construction stage, but “Insurances required for self-build projects in the UK”

I have an adjudicator’s decision, but still no payment!

Client ordered to pay monies owed on building work ‘forthwith’ but they are still refusing to pay Problem:  My company has recently been successful in an adjudication, but still the payer will not make payment! I am the managing quantity surveyor for a building company, and earlier this year we completed a development for a client.  However, the company’s final payment application was severely reduced by the client’s own in-house team, and despite a couple “I have an adjudicator’s decision, but still no payment!”

Obtaining payment for construction work when only part is in dispute

Client refuses to pay outstanding monies until we agree high set-off for damages Problem:  I am the commercial director of a roof truss manufacture.  Late last year, we were approached by a new client-contractor who requested us to price for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of engineered roof trusses for a nursing care village.  We provided a price and within a few days the client forwarded to us the acceptance form, duly signed. Our “Obtaining payment for construction work when only part is in dispute”