Homeowners to be given 15 years to bring legal action against developers for ‘shoddy’ workmanship

13th Jul 2021

The government is set to extend the six-year deadline for homeowners claiming compensation for dangerous cladding and poor workmanship on their homes to fifteen years under the new Building Safety Bill.

The change in legislation, will also apply retrospectively. This means homeowners of a building completed in 2010 will be allowed to seek redress from builders or developers until 2025.

Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, confirmed this on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show and further added the change in legislation to improve building safety follows increased pressure from the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.

Currently, the deadline for bringing legal action under a construction contract is six years, or if entered in to as a deed twelve years. A construction contract can be agreed verbally or by writing. We advise our clients to always enter into written construction contracts with builders or developers, because this offers the best safeguards against payments and guarantees adequate work.

A construction contract should include at the basic level the price, scope, and time of the construction. A more robust written contract will contain additional provisions defining procedures for managing the works. These provisions may relate to the following:

  • Management
  • Passing of risk
  • Payment
  • Insurance
  • Delay

Importantly, a written contract should also include how the parties are to resolve an issue if a dispute arises. Formally recording the terms of a construction contract will aid in efficiently managing a construction project and in turn this will significantly reduce the risk of a dispute arising between the parties. It is essential that the scope of works, timescale, Force Majeure, payment terms and so on, are agreed.

Our construction team at Rogers & Norton can offer their expert knowledge to ensure you are entering into a construction contract which offers you the best protection and achieves your objectives. If you have already entered into a construction contract, verbally or in writing, and a dispute has arisen our team can assist in bringing legal action in aim to resolving the dispute in a timely and cost-effective manner. Find out more about our team.