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A building contract may be a very complicated and large document comprising of many sections and parts. Where a person is considering signing a building contract, but is uncertain whether or not it has been drafted and collated in such a way that his rights are fairly protected, it is advisable to retain a Building Contract Solicitor to review the document and provide an opinion as to the reasonability of its provisions. Fundamentally, the building contract will contain a list of provisions relating to:

  • The subject matter of the contract:
    • The building to be constructed;
    • Its location;
    • Its cost;
    • Time frame of construction;
    • Materials to be used; and
    • The rights, liabilities, duties and responsibilities of each party:
      • Professional Standards to be used;
      • Payment;
      • Inspection;
      • Rectification;
      • Warranties;
      • Indemnities; and
      • Other specific provisions relevant to the type of building being built.

One problem area, is where a party to a building contract believes that a provision of the agreement was supposed to be incorporated, or that it was understood that some term of condition would be complied with while the contract itself does not reflect this. The contract may contain what is known as an “Entire Agreement” clause. This is a clause which states that the contract is the whole contract and that no other representation (whether being made before the contract was entered into or during the existence of the contract) is to be understood to be part of the agreement or used to interpret the agreement. These clauses seek to provide certainty by excluding what is known as extrinsic evidence from the agreement. Nevertheless, sometimes it may be possible to rely on extrinsic evidence even in the face of an entire agreement clause. These matters must however be determined on a case by case basis.

A building contract lawyer will be able to review all the provision of the building contract and determine whether the contract is fair, whether any provisions are unlawful, illegal or unreasonable, what provisions are missing which could safeguard the rights of the prospective owner of the building, and general advice in relation to the negotiation process before the contract is executed and work commences. The building contract team at Navado will be able to provide ongoing services in relation to precontractural legal advice, the interpretation of contractual terms and conditions in light of recent law, contract negotiation with the builder, the administration of an executed contract which is on foot, as well as the compliance with terms and any advice in relation to potential breaches of the building contract.

If you require assistance with contract litigation in your building and construction matter you may wish to contact our office on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to info@navado.com.au and make an appointment to see one of our solicitors in our Sydney CBD head office. By appointment, we can also make a time for you to see one of our lawyers in one of our branch offices. For a complete list of our branch offices, please peruse our "Locations" tab.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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