As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
Social housing providers will routinely have a number of construction projects underway at any one time. Whether building new properties or undertaking gas servicing, responsive repairs, aids and adaptations or planned preventative maintenance, it is essential for client teams to understand and avoid key contract management pitfalls.
Unfortunately, disputes are a common occurrence on construction projects and it can require significant time and money to address disputes with contractors or consultants, as well as complaints from residents or the wider public. At a time of increasingly strained budgets, those unexpected costs can be difficult to absorb and will obviously be unwelcome.
In our experience, many disputes can be avoided if client teams are aware of key contract management pitfalls and ensure their effective navigation through training and support. We have found that many disputes arise through misunderstandings and ambiguity around how the parties apply the contract terms to manage the contract effectively. The good news for those looking to deliver construction projects is that you can manage problems by learning how to avoid a number of pitfalls, such as:
- Administering payment mechanisms effectively and consistently;
- Issuing change instructions that capture the full details of the change in a clear and fully detailed manner;
- Ensuring that any variations to the contractual terms are set out in clear terms and in writing; and
- Administering final account mechanisms effectively and consistently.
Whilst no two disputes are identical, our experience shows that addressing these potential contract management pitfalls can help to mitigate the risk of disputes and can also place clients on a sound footing to resolve disputes when they do arise.
Introducing our contract management training programme
This ebriefing marks the start of a series, where each month we will focus in detail on a specific contract management pitfall.
In the meantime, many of you will be aware that we regularly deliver contract management and dispute resolution training sessions. If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in this ebriefing or would like to find out more about our bespoke client training programme, please contact Kieran Binnie or Andrew Lancaster.
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
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