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Building Disputes – Scope of Works

Scope for Disagreement:

Building Disputes About the Scope of a Construction Contract in NSW

The scope of work is the work that the contractor is required to do under the contract. If there is a dispute about the scope of work, it can lead to delays, cost overruns, and even litigation.

Building disputes about the scope of a construction contract are a common occurrence in NSW. These disputes can arise for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Ambiguity in the contract: The contract may be ambiguous or unclear about the scope of work that is required.
  2. Changes to the scope of work: The scope of work may be changed after the contract has been signed, without the agreement of both parties.
  3. Unforeseen circumstances: Unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather or changes in government regulations, may require the contractor to do additional work that was not originally included in the scope of work.

When a dispute arises about the scope of a construction contract, it is important to try to resolve the dispute quickly and amicably. This can be done by:

  1. Negotiating with the other party: The parties may be able to reach an agreement by negotiating with each other. This may involve discussing the issues that are causing the dispute and trying to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties.
  2. Mediation: Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps the parties to reach an agreement. The mediator will listen to both sides of the dispute and help the parties to identify common ground and find a solution that is acceptable to both parties.
  3. Arbitration: Arbitration is a process where the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by an arbitrator. The arbitrator will listen to both sides of the dispute and make a decision that is binding on both parties.

If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, the dispute may need to be resolved through the courts. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it is important to try to resolve the dispute through other means if possible.

Here are some tips for avoiding building disputes about the scope of a construction contract:

  1. Use a clear and concise contract: The contract should be clear and concise and should clearly define the scope of work that is required.
  2. Get everything in writing: Any changes to the scope of work should be agreed to in writing and should be signed by both parties.
  3. Be prepared for unforeseen circumstances: The contract should include a clause that allows for unforeseen circumstances. This clause should specify how the parties will deal with unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather or changes in government regulations.

By following these tips, you can help to avoid building disputes about the scope of a construction contract.

Disputes can arise about the duties and obligations of an agent; for further information please contact David Collins or Kristy Nunn from our dispute resolution and litigation team.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

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