Causes for an Extension of Time

The builder’s entitlement to an extension of time under Clause 19.1 of the HIA Contract arises when there is a delay caused by factors beyond the builder’s control. Some of the causes of delays that can lead to an entitlement to an extension of time include:

  • Adverse weather: Unpredictable and extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, storms, or floods can cause construction delays.
  • Delays in approvals: Delays in obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities can cause significant delays to construction works.
  • Variations requested by the owner: If the owner requests variations to the original building plans or design, this can cause delays and lead to an entitlement to an extension of time.

Industry shutdown period: During the 3-week period commencing on or about 22 December, the industry shuts down for Christmas. If construction during this period could not have been reasonably foreseen at the date of the contract, the builder may be entitled to an extension of time.

Builder's Obligation to Provide Written Notice

Under Clause 19.2 of the HIA Contract, the builder is obligated to provide written notice to the owner within 10 working days of becoming aware of the delay and the reasons for the extension of time. This written notice must include:
If the builder fails to provide written notice within the required timeframe, they may be unable to claim an entitlement to an extension of time. It is therefore essential that the builder complies with their obligation to provide written notice promptly.

Owner's Right to Dispute the Extension of Time

While Clause 19.1 of the HIA Contract provides the builder with an entitlement to an extension of time under certain circumstances, the owner has the right to dispute the builder’s entitlement to an extension of time. The owner must provide written notice within 5 working days of receiving the builder’s notice of entitlement to an extension of time.

Reasons for Disputing the Extension of Time:

The owner may dispute the builder’s entitlement to an extension of time for a variety of reasons, including
The owner may dispute the builder’s entitlement to an extension of time for a variety of reasons, including

Clarification on the Practical Completion Date

An extension of time does not necessarily mean that the date for practical completion will also be extended. Instead, the builder may need to apply for a separate extension of the date for practical completion if the extension of time granted is not sufficient to complete the works.

Builder’s Responsibility to Apply for an Extension of the Date for Practical Completion

If the builder determines that the extension of time granted is not sufficient to complete the works, the builder has the responsibility to apply for an extension of the date for practical completion. The builder must provide written notice to the owner, detailing the reasons for the extension of time and the new date for practical completion.

Owner’s Right to Dispute the Extension of the Date for Practical Completion

The owner has the right to dispute the builder’s application for an extension of the date for practical completion. The owner must provide written notice to the builder within 5 working days of receiving the builder’s notice, disputing the extension of the date for practical completion and detailing the reasons for the dispute.

How We Can Help

Clause 19.1 of the HIA Contract provides the builder with an entitlement to a reasonable extension of the building period if the building works are delayed due to causes beyond the builder’s control. It is important to understand the causes for an extension of time, the builder’s obligation to provide a written notice, the owner’s right to dispute the extension of time, and the clarification on the practical completion date.

If you have any concerns about your builder’s entitlement to an extension of time, seek legal advice from our building dispute lawyer to ensure your interests are protected.