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

Housing association not giving building contractor work  

Exceeded housing associations financial year orders We run a small repair and maintenance company and have worked for a large housing association for nearly 30 years. About 95% of our work has been with this one housing association although we have never had an official construction contract agreement with them.  The modus operandi for payment is that we invoice them, and they pay our CIS payments direct to HMRC.  We have always maintained a good...
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Court summons from recruitment agency for hiring construction professionals

Recruitment agency suing for hiring fixers after a construction project was completed I am the commercial director of a large plastering company, carrying out contracts all over the UK.  Although we directly employ a fairly large labour force, from time-to-time we also have to use recruitment agencies for the supply of operatives. In early 2017, we employed 4 fixers from a recruitment agency to work on a contract in Cardiff.  It was the first time...
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Application issue date changed by developer but not made in writing

'No oral variation' clause in a construction contract problem I have a contractual issue with a developer that my building company is currently employed by.  My company entered into a contract about 12 months ago to construct a small housing estate, comprising 22 detached and semi-detached houses.  Although I usually ensure that the contracts we enter into are standard forms of construction contract, on this job, we signed up to a contract that was drafted...
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Client withholding monies on the basis of defects on another contract

Carpenter having money held by contractor I am a self-employed carpenter and have recently carried out work on some flats for a new client who is a carpentry sub-contractor, who in turn has the carpentry contract with a main contractor. I am having some trouble with the carpentry sub-contractor, as it is refusing to pay me what I am owed on the work I have just done, blaming it on another job I have also...
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Building company not paying invoice and I have no written contract

Can a project manager make a claim when a building company refuses to pay? I am a freelance project manager. Back in February/March 2017, I was asked to project manage a small housing development (5 units) for a builder.  Having thought about it, I said I would and subsequently approached the director about a contract of engagement, and although he said he would get something to me, I began working on the project without a...
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Manufacturer refusing to deliver construction goods

Construction manufacturer won’t deliver ducting until we pay additional money I have a problem with a manufacturer who is refusing to supply goods previously ordered. My company is a heating and ventilation contractor, and we are currently working on a refurbishment contract, where we are upgrading the existing ventilation system. Part of the upgrade includes supplying new air ducts, and these have to be specially manufactured.  Our usual manufacturer was unable to meet the timescale...
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Methods of resolving a construction dispute with a client

Final account cannot be agreed. How can a dispute be resolved? In September of last year, the construction company that I work for completed a new-build project for a client.  The project was administered under the JCT Intermediate Form of Contract 2011.  My company has since been attempting to agree a final account for the construction, but a year on from completion, we remain poles apart. It does look like that the only way this...
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Who is responsible for paint render failure?

Problem: Customer unhappy with paintwork on poor state of render I run a small painting and decorating firm. Earlier this year, I was asked by a customer to quote for re-painting render to the outside of a 1930’s bungalow. When I viewed the existing render, I advised the customer that the render was in a poor state of repair, appearing loose in several places and that she should re-render before applying any paint. The customer...
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Should I wait for a written contract from contractor before starting work?

Problem: Strong relationship with contractor jeopardised by waiting for a contract? I have been working on a large building site for the past six months as a contractor.  The site has been split into five phases, and I have almost finished phase 2, and have submitted my tender for the next 3 phases. I have done a few small jobs on phase 3 which I have been paid for at my tendered rates.  I have...
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Building site late completion leading to damages for delay

Problem: Do we have to pay damages for not completing building site on time? We entered into a contract to build three detached bungalows on the outskirts of Rugby.  The form of contract was not a usual standard form, but one that our client had drafted in-house, and it is fairly basic, which to be honest, suits us. One of the terms that the contract did include was for a penalty if we failed to...
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