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Streetwise Answers

We mainly specialize in small residential works such as extensions and refurbishments and sign contracts directly with owners of properties.

Does Construction Act 2011 changes relate only to sub-contractors or can it also be used in our particular case when the contractor is not a limited company and deals with owners of the properties?



Hi Alex

Firstly whether you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company, has no bearing on the application of the Construction Act in this instance.

You say that you sign contracts with the "owners of the properties" but not whether those owners are also the occupiers.

The Construction Act does not apply to "construction contracts with residential occupiers" which are defined in the Act as follows;

"A construction contract with a residential occupier means a construction contract which principally relates to operations on a dwelling which one of the parties to the contract occupies, or intends to occupy, as his residence"

Therefore, if your contract is with an owner/occupier, the Act does not apply, whereas if your contract is with the owner who does not occupy the property, e.g. a landlord who intends to let the property, then the Construction Act does apply.

In this particular instance whether you are a Contractor or a Sub-Contractor affects the application of the Act as follows;

If your contract is with the "residential occupier" then the Act does not apply to that contract. But, if you then sub-let part of those works, or contract with a sub-contractor to provide "his own labour or the labour of others", then the Act does apply to that contract, because it is not caught by the "residential occupier exclusion".

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