We have variously done the following;
1. Warned Builders of the difficulties clients may present when you seek payment.
2. Warned Builders of the problems inherent in the practice of the client holding “retention money” as a security for the builder fixing any problems arising later.
3. Warned of the difficulties flowing from undertaking building work without a written contract;
4. The problems for clients when builders “buy” a contract and re-negotiate it to their advantage later, after they have started work.
5. Warned again of the difficulties flowing from undertaking building work without a written contract;
Now we write about the steps you must take when you don’t get paid. Most building or engineering contracts will have an Arbitration clause in some form or other. If so, it will be mandatory that the dispute be taken to arbitration. Get the help of a solicitor or a “claims consultant” to draft the papers for the arbitration. Depending on the nature of the dispute it might take a long time to produce workable drafts but it is essential work.
When the identity of the arbitrator is agreed he/she can give directions as to how the parties should proceed. It is wise for claimants to have anticipated the production of workable drafts.
The conduct of an arbitration by the claimant or the respondent is like the conduct of litigation; it needs the services of a litigator.
If a respondent is still trading (not in liquidation) it is open to the claimant to take the claim to arbitration with some prospect of making a recovery.