Issues That Can Affect Your Working Relationship With Your Contractor

Issues That Can Affect Your Working Relationship With Your Contractor

The working relationship between a business manager or homeowner and a team of contractors is an ongoing challenge that needs careful management to maintain. While respect and communication are two factors that help a project run smoothly, there are often events that will test the relationship. Here are some of these common issues and how they can be overcome.

Scope of work

Performance duties and the scope of work to be undertaken can be a recurring problem during a project. The provision, which will be stipulated in the contract, covers duties and responsibilities for the parties involved and describes how these parties can act following unforeseen events and the quality of work that is expected. Issues usually arise around the interpretation of the descriptions, and disagreements can result in defective or incomplete work and poor collaboration.

It is vital to conduct due diligence before signing a contract, and there are a few preventative measures that you can take to eliminate disruptions entirely, or at least streamline the time that it takes to arrive at a resolution. A performance duties provision should be agreed before the project and should include aspects such as assurances that your design documents are complete and clear to follow and express warranties written by the contractor confirming that their work will meet the required standards set out in these documents.

Payment problems

There will also be a payment provision to cover the details about payments for a contractor. Problems can arise when a third party erroneously estimates the amount of work they have done or demands remuneration for work that is either defective or doesn’t merit complete payment. However, not paying in either of these circumstances can be seen as a breach of contract, which makes it a difficult problem to solve. It will also have a knock-on effect of disrupting the project and leading to other problems.

It is possible to resolve these issues either through written or spoken discourse on the problems at hand, which may prevent litigation. However, taking a proactive approach before the project is the best course of action. You should establish a provision that covers how the contractor will assess the completeness of their work and the standards expected, and employ a mutually agreed independent specialist to inspect payment applications before you are required to pay. This will also ensure that a third party does not request payment for line items they have yet to complete. Working with a third party covered by an umbrella company can also be beneficial as contractor pay issues won’t be a problem.

Other issues

Other common issues include delays, unforeseen changes and a lack of available resources. Delays are generally defined as either excusable or inexcusable, and in turn, noncompensable or compensable. Negotiating with a contractor about whether a certain event is compensable is one possible resolution, but this can put a strain on the relationship and have a detrimental impact in the project. Instead, try to establish a list of events that are compensable and noncompensable with the help of independent counsel beforehand so that everyone involved knows what damages and delays will be compensated for.

As evidenced by the issues highlighted here, covering the precise details of every aspect of the work involved prior to the project in a written commercial contract is essential to maintaining a harmonious working relationship with contractors.

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