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Claiming Extensions of Time

June 18, 2019

Has your client requested variations to the building works? Or maybe there is a delay receiving materials to be supplied by the owner? Maybe its adverse weather conditions like rain that are preventing you from getting on with the job, or you have had to suspend the building works due to the client not paying a progress payment when it was due.  

If circumstances arise that are outside your control you should seek an extension of time in writing, as soon as it occurs to reduce the risk of a claim for liquidated damages. Under the HIA contracts if the works do not reach practical completion by the end of the building period, the Owner is entitled to liquidated damages at the specified amount within the contract. 

HIA contracts provide Builders the right to an extension of time in certain circumstances; however, these do not include any delays you could have reasonably predicted before entering into the contract. 

It is important that you familiarise yourself with the process in your contract – a notice needs to be prepared and provided to the Owner to claim extra time, and such needs to be provided within a certain time frame (HIA contracts provide that the notice is to be given to the Owner within 10 working days of knowing BOTH the cause and extent of the delay). There is no “automatic’ extension to the building period, it needs to be sought. 
It is important that you provide a reasonable assessment of time for a job when entering into the building contract. Providing a short period for a build may be attractive to your clients, but if not reasonable can ultimately land a builder in hot water if the job finished long past its contracted completion date.

HIA stationery has a claim for extension of time form available to help you in these circumstances.

For further information please contact your Workplace Advisor on 1300 650 620