When you run a business, there are times when you will need to utilise the expertise of a builder, architect or other tradesmen to help you to carry out maintenance or improvements to your commercial property. When you engage their services to carry out work for you, you expect the work to be completed within the agreed timescales and to a high standard, and they expect to be paid promptly and in full.

This type of agreement can often go wrong though, mainly because one party may suggest that the other has broken their contract with them. Some of the most common types of construction disputes which may affect you and your business are:

  • Time delays
  • Poor standard of work
  • Professional negligence (incorrect plans for example)
  • Outstanding fees
  • Additional costs due to delayed work or disruption

These types of construction disputes can have a significant impact on your business and depending on what sort of dispute you are involved in, it may even stop you from operating completely. The repercussions for you, your staff and your customers will be hard to deal with.

halted construction
Image by Scott Lewis

Resolving Construction Disputes

If this is the case, you will need to ensure that a resolution is sought as soon as possible because the construction dispute will be affecting your bottom line and your income too.

If the work completed is faulty you may have to pay to put the work right by another tradesman, and pay for additional materials. If you have to go down this route to be able to operate, it may cost more than you budgeted and then not prove financially viable.

The contact between you and your tradesman should lay out how to deal with any disputes which arise, which will usually be through arbitration or adjudication. Even if your contract does not stipulate how you should resolve any disputes, it will be in your best interests to come to a resolution as quickly as possible. Litigation is always an option, but this will be slower and more expensive than alternative dispute resolution methods so it is worth exploring these first.

It may be difficult to know what to do when you are involved with a construction dispute, but if you contact a specialist solicitor, they will be able to advise you fully on the terms of your contract, where you stand legally with your contractor and what steps you should take next.

If you would like more information on this article or you would like to speak to us about any aspect of our litigation and disputes services, you can contact us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we’d be delighted to help you (initial telephone consultation is free).