Construction law relates to the obligations that you as the builder, supplier, tradesperson or the owner of the property have to each other during and after the construction process.
As a local builder, you rely on your reputation for a flow of referrals for new work.
Client disputes, contract conflict, miscommunication with suppliers all have the potential to harm, or worse, destroy your reputation. It’s important you understand your obligations with regards to Construction law.
If you lose control of the situation and conflict arises it’s vital that you seek legal assistance immediately to ensure that you don’t damage your reputation. Breaches of Construction law may seriously affect your ability to manage your business, have a negative impact on your cash flow and destroy vital industry relationships.
The construction process starts with your quote. A poorly prepared quote, lacking detail has the potential to land you in hot water. Having your lawyer review major quotes and the contract once accepted is good business practice. It’s especially important if the income from that job represents more than 20% of your annual income.
Building disputes can, and often do, arise for a number of reasons. The most common issues are problems with drafting, or mistakes, in the contract. It is essential that you have an understanding of Contract Law. Variations to the original contract or scope of works, not properly documented are often challenged. If this is agreed to orally or you do not record this adequately then this can lead to you being liable if a disagreement occurs later down the track. It will become very difficult to show that these changes were in fact agreed to if you have no proof.
Builders completing multiple jobs regularly struggle with cash flow. Work may slow or stop as supplier’s get frustrated with late or no payment. Talking to your lawyer about negotiating better terms or agreements to pay may well keep the job on track.
Over 65% of home building complaints are made because of poor workmanship. Issues around unsatisfactory finish, non-structural defects, water penetration or non-completion are common in the building industry. Construction law focuses on protecting the owner against such issues. It is essential that you deal with disputes quickly and cost effectively.
Qualities of supplier’s materials are sometimes questioned. While perhaps not your fault, you have to take responsibility and work to fix the issues. Written confirmation of agreed stock matters, ask your lawyer to help you document specific requirements.
Any one of these construction law issues may harm your reputation and rob you of profit. Not to mention the time and stress to resolve legal disputes. The good news is all of these issues can be avoided.
Work with the lawyers at Vaarzon-Morel Solicitors to ensure you have the right foundations in your business to prevent these issues arising in the future. We have extensive experience in drafting contracts and advising on any special conditions or clauses required as well as undertaking debt collection should this be required. We can assist you in making informed decisions right from the start of the project until its completion. If disputes are unable to be prevented, then we will work hard to get the most cost effective and beneficial result for you and your business so that you can carry on doing what you do best.