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The Contract requires that you take out public liability with a cover of at least $5 million. If the owner tells you to insure the products you will be installing against loss or damage occurring after they are delivered to site or to similarly insure the owner’s property while you are carrying out the installation, you can charge this cost plus back to the owner plus another 20% for arranging the insurance.
You need to take out Home Owners Warranty Insurance if you perform domestic building work and the contract price exceeds $12,000 (other than exempt work).
The Contract allows you to nominate progress stages that will act as a trigger for payment. The amount claimed under each stage should reflect the actual value of work completed within that stage. It’s important that you complete the work described in a progress stage before submitting a claim. If you have made a valid claim, the owner must pay you within seven days after you give them a written claim.
In Victoria, the maximum amount that you can charge as a deposit is:
Your Contract provides that the owner must give you unrestricted access to the site to check measure, deliver and install the product and fix any defects during normal business hours.
Your client is responsible for the safekeeping, control and supervision of domestic animals on the site. It’s a good idea to remind your client of this prior to starting work if the animals could place your workers at risk, if your work could place the animals at risk or if there is a chance the animals could escape.
The Contract contains a clause that allows you to include ‘provisional sums’ in your contract price. This will be an allowance that represents the estimated cost of that item or cost of providing the work. The owner must pay the actual cost of the item so where that cost is more or less than the allowance, the contract price will be adjusted.
You are entitled to claim an extension of time for things that are beyond your control – e.g. if the owner fails to make a selection, does not have the site ready for installation or does not give you access to site. You need to ensure that you claim these extensions of time in writing and in accordance with your Contract.
Yes, they need to be in writing and signed by the parties before you vary the Contract. The process for variations is set out in the contract and must be followed.
The Contract provides that if the owner is to provide plumbing and electrical services or will supply or install appliances, they must have the site ready and the appliances available at least 24 hours before you install your product (cabinets, etc). The owner must also use licensed trades.
You should first discuss this issue with your client to find out why – it could be a simple misunderstanding. However, if the client is in serious breach of their obligations, you may give them a written request to remedy the breach within 14 days. This is a necessary step if you intend on terminating the Contract on account of the serious breach. The Contract provides that you are entitled to interest on late payment.
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