Construction Delay Series: I have submitted a claim for additional time; how long do I have to wait for a decision? What are the consequences if no decision is made?
Sandra Cassels, partner in the commercial litigation team at Morton Fraser, continues our four-part Construction Delay Series, which takes a closer look at legal issues surrounding construction delays.
If your contract makes provision for an extension of time it should also set out the procedure and time frames involved. It is very important that anyone making an extension of time request complies with the conditions set out in the contract.
Our example contract, the SBCC Design & Build 2016 (“the Contract”) makes such provisions. Once the extension of time request is submitted it shall be considered by the Employer (or more likely the Architect on behalf of the Employer). They must consider the extension of time request and notify the contractor of the decision as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event, the decision shall be given within 12 weeks of receipt of the application for an extension of time.
If the extension of time request is made less than 12 weeks before the Contract completion date, the employer shall endeavour to provide a decision before the completion date. Within 12 weeks of practical completion the employer may review matters and fix a different completion date, having regard to any Relevant Events, previous decisions on extensions of time and any omissions to the work since the previous completion date was fixed.
The use of the words ‘may’ and ‘shall’ indicate that these timescales are not mandatory. Therefore the decision maker is not bound to the same strict adherence to the contract as the party making the application.
Sandra Cassels specialises in construction and engineering disputes. Last week she covered, What is a Relevant Event and what effect does it have on the completion date? Over the coming weeks, Sandra will cover additional topics:
- What factors are considered in deciding an extension of time request?
- There are multiple reasons for delay to the project, and only some of them are my fault. Can I get additional time?