The following articles are part of Michael Gerard’s monthly column in the Leicestershire Builder magazine.

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...
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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...
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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...
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Pre-Action Protocol; what it is and how to respond

Receiving a letter of claim from a contractor we fell out with Problem:  My company is a contractor that specialises in drylining where we employ self-employed operatives who are paid on a measured basis.  From time-to-time, we are also requested to carry out traditional plastering work, but because this only forms a small amount of our business, we contract this element out to other contractors. On a project we were involved with in 2018, we...
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Claim for alleged defect in work

Billed for supposedly incorrect work but not given an opportunity to rectify Problem:  I had been working on job for a main contractor for about 5 months up until January 2019, which had been going well, with no problems on payment.  I had been working without a written order or agreement, although the work itself was given to me in a piece meal fashion, with the price for each piece of work being agreed prior...
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Single source of responsibility or a series of direct contacts?

Interior designer to directly hire a contractor – where does responsibility lie? Problem:  Although I work overseas, I have 2 investment properties in Leicester.  One of the properties, a flat just outside the city, was recently vacated by a long-term tenant, and I have now decided to sell. Before I market the flat, I plan to renovate it, so I have engaged an interior designer to undertake the design and also manage the refurbishment works....
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Suspension of works for long period, what action can we take?

Client put project on hold but has not sent instruction to return to job Problem:  I am a director of a company that has been trading for about 10 years as a main contractor.  In that time it has grown tremendously, with the bulk of the contract values between £1 million and £10 million. Back in 2018, a specialist plastering sub-contractor that we have used on refurb work went into liquidation, and the management of...
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Breach of contract – can I claim for loss of earnings?

Customer cancelled and no longer responding Problem:  After finishing a job for a customer in August 2018, I was subsequently asked for a price to decorate a living room. Via Facebook Messenger, I sent the customer a quote in the second week of September and got a reply a few weeks later saying that she wants to go ahead and asking me to do the work in mid-November.  I sent a message the following morning...
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Asked to execute a contract as a deed for construction work

Agreeing sub-contract documentation for a job but asked to execute the contract as a deed? Problem:  I work for a contractor that specialises in concrete screeding.  We were recently successful with a tender to design and carry out screeding work to a number of units on a new retail park development and are now going through the process of agreeing the sub-contract documentation. The contract documentation requires the company to execute the contract as a...
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Contract transferred to the main contractor

Main contractor has approached operatives and asked them to work directly for them Problem: I started my business earlier this year, the reason being is that I had an opportunity of a large contract with the promise of a good return.  The business specialises in spray-painting composite door frames.  The business opportunity that I was presented with, meant that I would be a sub-sub-contractor, with my client working directly for the main contractor. I commenced working...
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