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Streetwise Answers

We have a sub-contract with a main contractor under which we are fitting a product specified by the architect .
The ultimate client is stating that the product is not fit for purpose, even though the manufacturer ourselves and the main contractor have proven that the product supplied and fitted is fit for purpose.
Subsequently the supplier of the goods has spoken to the ultimate client directly and cannot agree a solution.  As a result the supplier has fallen out with the client and subsequently has offered us a credit for the materials only and is now stating that the goods are now his and he is within his rights to remove them from site even though the materials are fixed.
Removing the materials will cause serious consequences. 
My question is this: Is the supplier legally entitled to take fixed materials off the site? in addition we have not necessarily accepted the suppliers credit note.
Gary Bigg
Specialist Cladding Contractor


It's an interesting question and one that involves a very well established legal principle. That principle being;

"What's fixed to the land belongs to the land."

In other words fixing almost anything on a construction project means that the land owner now owns whatever has been fixed, irrespective of whatever else anyone' contractual arrangements might be, and irrespective of whether or not anyone has been paid.

So, removing the materials would be both theft and an act of criminal damage! 

The question of fitness for purpose and what could and should be done is much more involved and we would need more information to be able to comment further.

Please feel free to give me a call for some initial free advice on 01773 712116.

Best regards


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