construction subcontractor payment problems

engineering subbie payment problems

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Applications & Payments

Construction Subcontract Applications & Payment Provisions

Applications & Payment – Most standard forms of construction contract expressly provide for a Payment Application from the payee.  This usually starts the payment process and should be submitted in strict accordance with the contract.

To ensure that a Payment Application is valid:

  • Value the works on the date specified in the contract
  • Submit your Payment Application within the deadline specified in your contract
  • Set out the sum considered to be due and the basis of the calculation
  • Include a summary sheet which breaks down the calculation for the amount considered to be due.

Applications & Payment – The Payment Application should also use the language of the contract, for example, if the contract refers to an “Interim Payment Application” then use the same title so the payer is in no doubt what you’re submitting.

construction subcontract application payment

Construction Subcontract Application & Payment Provisions

The first thing that Specialist Contractors, Trade Contractors and Subcontractors need to get their head around is the fact that there is a myriad of different ways in which construction and engineering subcontracts provide for interim applications and payment.

These can be broadly divided into the following categories;

  • Standard Form Contracts i.e. those produced by recognised industry bodies e.g. JCT
  • Non-standard or bespoke forms produced for and used by Contractors

In addition, we need to consider the application and payment provisions of contracts that are formed by exchange of correspondence or performance, or where a Purchase Order has been issued which may or may not contain payment provisions.

The Construction Act & Subcontract Interim Payment Provisions

The Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 as amended by the Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 applies to all “construction operations” as defined in the Act.

There are certain types of project to which the Act does not apply, and one such situation that a good many readers will encounter is where the contract is with a “residential occupier” the homeowner to you and me.  Other situations where the Act does not apply include; supply only contracts, process industry and power generation sites.  A full list of the types of project to which it does not apply are set out in the Act as follows;

(a) drilling for, or extraction of, oil or natural gas;

(b) extraction (whether by underground or surface working) of minerals; tunnelling or boring, or construction of underground works, for this purpose;

(c) assembly, installation or demolition of plant or machinery, or erection or demolition of steelworks for the purposes of supporting or providing access to plant or machinery, on a site where the primary activity is—

(i) nuclear processing, power generation, or water or effluent treatment, or

(ii) the production, transmission, processing or bulk storage (other than warehousing) of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil, gas, steel or food and drink;

(d) manufacture or delivery to site of—

(i) building or engineering components or equipment,

(ii) materials, plant or machinery, or

(iii) components for systems of heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection, or for security or communications systems, except under a contract which also provides for their installation;

(e) the making, installation and repair of artistic works, being sculptures, murals and other works, which are wholly artistic in nature.

The Act and in particular, the 2011 amendments to the Act introduced some key rules about payment. Contracts that are subject to the Act are required to clearly establish two clear points in the payment process, and these are called the “Due Date” and the “Final Date for Payment”. It is unfortunate that in this context, the “Due Date” does not mean the date the money is due to be paid. That is determined by the “Final Date for Payment”, which is the last date by which payment must be made.

Where the Act applies, the contract must also provide for Payment Notices to be issued by the paying party within 5 days of the Due Date, and if such notices are not provided the Act imposes favourable default provisions.

In simple terms, if your contract requires you to submit applications for payment (and most do), then your application will become the default Payment Notice. Unfortunately, the Act also introduced the concept of the Pay Less Notice!

On the plus side, this means that in the absence of a Pay Less Notice, the sum due and payable is that set out in your application for payment. However, this favourable position is often taken away by the Contractors own terms or onerous amendments to the Standard Form contracts.

On the down-side, the dreaded Pay Less Notice is the Contractor’s opportunity, to make deductions from the sum he said he was going to pay you, or the sum in your default notice

Check Out Our “Payment Page” and our “Payment Under The Construction Act” Page

Please check out our Payment Page and our Payment Under The Construction Act Page for more information about the following;

  • Our Top 10 Tips To Help Specialist Contractors Avoid Payment Disputes
  • How Sub-Contractors Can Get Paid On Time?
  • Contractor Not Paying Subcontractor
  • When Can Sub-Contractors Suspend Performance?
  • Set Off and Contra Charges
  • Pay When Paid
  • Late Payment By Contractor
  • Non-payment by Contractor
  • Subcontractors Remedies For Late or Non-payment

Free Advice For Specialist Contractors About Construction Payment Problems

To get help with applications & payment (plus many other things) why not Become A Gold Buddy today and you not only get immediate access to free advice*, you will also benefit from a unique service exclusively for Specialist Contractors via our Nationwide Support Network©.

We know that some big construction companies like to tie you up in knots, have you running around in circles, and generally make life difficult for you when it comes to getting paid. But when you join StreetwiseSubbie all that ends. You see, our experts are more than a match for companies who employ bullying tactics.

Acting on your behalf, our Consultants and construction law experts give as good as they get, and in the vast majority of cases we will get you paid quickly and cost effectively, leaving you to get on with doing what you do best.

The ongoing free monthly advice* alone is worth more than your monthly subscription, but you will also have access to a whole range of expertise and receive your unique suite of exclusive StreetwiseSubbie Power Resources©

All in all your membership will help you to achieve the best outcomes for you and your business. and deliver professional solutions that will resolve your commercial and contractual problems quickly and economically!

Why not call us today on Tel: +44 (0) 1773 712116 or Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com

* Subject to our terms and conditions.

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Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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