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Issues to be considered when work is suspended on a building project

By Pierce Bedogni - 7 Aug 2019

Not all building projects run smoothly and for one reason or another, there may be a point where building work is suspended. Should the building project end up in that position, both parties to the building contract have obligations and there are a number of matters to consider.

  1. The builder should take basic precautions to ensure that the building site is secure to minimise any damage (through theft, vandalism, or natural causes) and to guard against latent hazards. You will also need to decide whether to remove any hire equipment, to save costs.
  2. As the builder will no longer have any control over the building site, logically, health and safety responsibility would return to the owner. This should be pointed out to avoid any confusion.
  3. Depending on the length of the suspension, it is likely that the expected project completion date will be extended, which may result in the Contract Works Insurance lapsing before the new completion date. This will require the party who took out the insurance to speak to their brokers about extending the date for any insurance.
  4. The builder making it clear that he is ready, willing and able to resume work once the delaying issue is resolved. Refusing to do so may be seen as an abandonment of the building project and give rise to termination of the building contract. However, it is equally important that works should only have to resume once the builder has freed himself from other commitments necessarily undertaken during the period of suspension.

The above is just a snapshot of what needs to be considered upon suspension. If you are considering suspending building work, or your building project has been suspended,  contact Pierce Bedogni or any member of our construction law team for assistance.


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