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Recent CIF Corporate Partner Leman Solicitors provide a handy top 10 must know guide to the Construction Contracts Act 2013.
1. If the contract is not in writing then its still covered by the Act.
2. ‘Construction operations’ extends to every conceivable construction related work from repairs to coastal protection works and even artistic work.
3. If the contract value is less than €10,000 and it relates to a Principal Private Dwellinghouse for less than 200sqm then the Act does not apply.
4. Its illegal to say that the Act does not apply in a contract.
5. Its illegal to say that the contractor will only pay when they are paid.
6. The contract has to specify when payment stages happen, and how much will be paid at each stage.
7. If you haven’t been paid then you are entitled to suspend work on site but you have to give 7 days notice. You cannot suspend works if you’ve started adjudication.
8. If you haven’t been paid then you can serve Notice of Adjudication on the contractor at any time. If you cannot agree who to appoint then the chair of the Adjudication Panel will appoint from a panel of 30 adjudicators.
9. One appointed, serve the adjudicator the details of the claim and the supporting documents and copy these to the contractor. The contractor will have a right of reply. The Adjudicator has 28 days from his appointment to reach a decision. The decision is binding until finally settled via arbitration or the High Court challenge.
10. Even if you win the adjudication you still have to pay your own legal costs.
None of the existing standard forms of construction contract are compliant with the Construction Contracts Act 2013. Payment arrangements and the dispute resolution provisions will have to be revised. The statutory right to refer payment disputes to adjudication must be incorporated, but a decision must be made on how to treat disputes which are not payment disputes.
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