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Builders - contract dispute

(2 Posts)
Zitouna Sun 29-Sep-19 21:48:28

Hello, hoping some wisdom here might help us before we have to go to a solicitor...

We have had a v large renovation project on our house, and had a JCT contract with our builders, with our architect as contract administrator.

We got to practical completion several months late - architect did final valuation and we then claimed several weeks liquidated damages PLUS additional architect’s fees on top. Architect assessed the liquidated damages and gave revised final bill - and informally told us it is then for us to deduct the additional architect’s fees off that bill. He said this was a bit of a grey area but he didn’t think builder would challenge.
Q1. Is this correct - can we just deduct the fees?

In addition - several issues were noted as ‘snags’ at point of practical completion, and more have been noted since. Builders have made no effort to fix the snags, and the contractual 3 month period when we are both obliged to let them sort it has now passed. They have now offered to come round to sort things out - but we don’t want them in the house and don’t trust them to do the work well. Architect has advised to both sides that we are within our rights to ‘determine’ the contract - but we haven’t formally done so.

Q2. What happens about the retention fund (2.5%) in these circumstances? If we use another builder to fix the snags do we just deduct those costs from the retention? Or the outstanding final bill? If we determine or terminate the contract can we just not pay the retention at all?

Sorry that’s so long. Any advice vv gratefully received!

PeterPiperPumpkin Fri 11-Oct-19 18:07:36

Hi, we are in a similar situation. We disagree on date of practical completion. We've had threats to pay the final 2.5% but have found some snagging (he blames everyone else) but just found a major expensive defect due to bad workmanship. We don't want him
to remediate as we know it will be done really badly and he's been very threatening to us, but we've been given advice that we should give him the opportunity to remediate. If we do this we will do with the support of an independent surveyor checking the work and making before and after conditions report. The other legal advice just in is we are not to pay final 2.5% until it's remediated by him or if he refuses to do to standard and in a way we agree (it's going to cause quite a lot of disruption to remediate) we don't have to use him. Just gathering all legal advice. We've got cover on home insurance, have contacted another lawyer who is giving us advice and have spoken to trading standards over last few days.

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