Understanding Progress Claims under the NSW HIA Lump Sum Contract
The NSW Home Building Industry Association (HIA) Lump Sum Contract is a popular agreement used in construction projects, including building a dream home. Under the contract, progress payments are made to the builder for the work completed on a particular stage. A progress claim is a document used by the builder to request payment for the work they have completed. It is essential to understand that a progress claim is not the same as a payment claim under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW). However, progress claims under the HIA Lump Sum Contract are subject to the Act’s requirements, including the payment schedule process under Section 14 of the Act. It is crucial to understand the contract’s payment schedule process and your rights as a homeowner if you believe the builder is not entitled to payment for the progress claim.
Calculating Progress Payments under the NSW HIA Lump Sum Contract
Calculating progress payments under the NSW HIA Lump Sum Contract can be complex and involves several factors. These factors include the amount of work completed, the value of work completed, the contract sum, and the date of completion. The contract should provide a payment schedule that outlines the payment structure for the project, including the timing and amount of each payment. It is crucial to ensure that progress payments are calculated correctly to avoid any payment disputes between homeowners and builders. It is recommended that homeowners seek advice from a construction lawyer or solicitor to assist in reviewing progress payment calculations and ensure that they are accurate.
IV. Legal Rights of Homeowners when Challenging Progress Claims
As a homeowner, you have legal rights when challenging a progress claim under the NSW HIA Lump Sum Contract. Clause 17 of the HIA Contract provides that the builder can only make a progress claim if the work has been carried out in accordance with the plans and specifications. If the homeowner believes that the builder has not completed the work according to the plans and specifications, they have the right to dispute the claim. Homeowners can also dispute claims if they believe that the work has not been carried out to a satisfactory standard, or if there are defects in the work. Additionally, homeowners have the right to dispute claims if they believe that the claim has been calculated incorrectly. If the homeowner disputes the claim, the burden of proof is on the builder to prove that the work has been completed to the required standard and that the claim has been calculated correctly.
Options for Homeowners to Challenge Progress Claims
Homeowners who believe that a builder is not entitled to a progress payment can challenge the progress claim in several ways. First, they can communicate their concerns to the builder and seek to negotiate a resolution. If this approach fails, they can initiate dispute resolution processes outlined in the contract, such as mediation, adjudication or arbitration. Alternatively, they can lodge a payment claim under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) to request a formal review of the progress claim. Homeowners should note that there are strict deadlines for responding to a payment claim, and failure to comply with these can result in adverse consequences. Seeking advice from a legal professional with experience in construction law can help homeowners understand their options and make informed decisions.
In conclusion, it is crucial for homeowners to understand their legal rights and options when challenging progress claims made by their builders under the NSW HIA Lump Sum contract. By familiarising themselves with the terms of their contract and the relevant legislation, homeowners can effectively challenge progress claims that they believe are unjustified.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have received a progress claim that you believe is not valid, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from a construction lawyer. A qualified lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, and guide you through the process of challenging a progress claim.
Remember, as a homeowner, you have the right to ensure that you are only paying for work that has been properly completed and in accordance with your contract. By taking the necessary steps to challenge progress claims that you believe are unjustified, you can protect your investment and ensure that your dream home is built to your satisfaction.