It can be difficult to ascertain what is considered the most appropriate and proper time to suspend construction works.  Whilst being a very effective method for construction workers to ensure that they do not accrue costs or make purchases for jobs that may ultimately not be paid for by the owner, it can be difficult to know when and how to suspend.  Thankfully, there is a type of contract that can provide the choice to suspend works if an owner is in breach of contractual obligations.  Builders should note however, the need to ensure you follow the contract’s requirements, as opposing this can lead to serious legal ramifications.  A brief overview of how and when to suspend works in accordance with a contract, is outlined below.

When and How to Suspend Works

If an owner is not paying for construction works to their property, a builder can issue a progress claim.  Generally, the owner has 5 business days to pay the outstanding monies as stated in the claim.  If on the sixth business day the owner is still yet to pay, you should enquire with the owner directly; ensuring they have received the progress claim and reminding them of overdue payment.

If the payment still does not occur, it is time to mention breaches of contractual obligation on the part of the owner.  A formal statement can be issued and it can be deemed the right time to carry out suspension of works.  To protect your rights as a builder under the contract, a notice of suspension should contain appropriate details of the reason for suspension and other specifics regarding the proposed remedy to the situation (typically payment by the owner).  If work is suspended, you should also note any delays caused in the construction project and any losses as a result of this.  It can be claimed as damages under legislation.


Need Help?                      

If you require further assistance in relation to construction matters or when to suspend building works, why not contact our team of experienced construction lawyers by clicking here to submit an online enquiry form or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange a teleconference or appointment.