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WA Extension of Building Contract with No Compensation for Delay?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Cassandra4, 21 November 2014.

  1. Cassandra4

    Cassandra4 Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    I am in a building contract, and the completion date (confirmed by the builder) is in less than a week. The builder has issued me a letter stating that it is an extension of contract, and provided me with an 'estimated completion date' that is ten weeks away. I am wondering if this is normal practice, or should I be asking the builder to provide me with a second contract with the new completion date written into it? Is there a way I can ask/write in the contract to get compensation if the builder goes over the new (estimated) completion date? Currently there is nothing that automatically grants me compensation in the contract.

    As I'm sure you can understand, I am worried that they will be able to keep issuing me with a letter with an estimated completion date - as their track record with this build has been incredibly slow.

    PS - Edited to add that I found in the HIA contract something that may stand in my way...

    The Builder shall give to the Owner a notice of any extension of time to which the Builder is entitled within TWENTY (20) working days of the Builder being aware of the cause and the extent of the delay.

    But does this mean from the end of the completion date time? Or should they have made me aware earlier?
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the provision, it only requires the builder to give the owner notice of extension within 20 days of the building being aware that there will be a delay. The provision wants to say that the builder is entitled to an extension, but doesn't quite get there and so that part of the provision is quite vague. Are there any more provisions in the contract regarding delays, extensions, penalties?

    Unless the contract says otherwise, the notice of extension is merely an offer to amend the original completion date. You can choose to accept, in which case, you may be waiving your right to sue to breach of contract (i.e. not completing the renovation/building works by the completion date) or you can negotiate and sign the amendment on the condition the builder gives you compensation. You will need to work out what amount of compensation is reasonable and acceptable to you.
     
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  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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  4. Cassandra4

    Cassandra4 Well-Known Member

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    Wow that really helps, thanks! I think I am going to attempt to come to an agreement first... And then take other avenues should I need. Can you tell me that if i rwquest compensation if they don't meet a deadline - do I have to show evidence of why/how much I need ie a rental lease, or board payments?
     
  5. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    It is always best to justify any damages or loss caused by the delay. One way would be to see how much you could have rented the property for, say in a months time, and calculate that as the loss the delay has caused you to incur since you can no longer have the property ready to rent out by that time. Another way would be looking at samples of penalties in other building contracts or enquiring with the Building Commission. Another way is to calculate it by their daily fee.
     
  6. Cassandra4

    Cassandra4 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for your help. I feel much more confident approaching the builder now!
     

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