Defects liability

On practical completion of the contract, the date for the defects liability inspection as predetermined by the defects period entered in the contract should be decided and the contractor informed. Inform your client of this date and ask him to note defects which arise before that date and which may not be apparent during the actual defects inspection. Your client should also be informed (and it should be borne in mind during your own inspection) that defects do not include damage caused by him or his staff during the move into the building or since occupation, and it is advisable to quote the clause in the contract which deals with this particular item, in order that he does not expect the contractor to make the building brand new again. Before the period elapses, ask for his list of items discovered to be defective during occupation or use of the building and incorporate it in your schedule for inspection.

The inspection of the property should then be related to the inspection schedule as used for the practical completion inspection, in order that the inspection can be made methodically and so that you can be sure that everything has been included. Copies of the completed schedule of defects should be prepared for the contractor, the quantity surveyor and the client. After consultation with your client, arrange with the contractor the dates on which he will start and finish the work and instruct him accordingly. On completion of the work, a second and final inspection should be made which goes through the schedule item by item. This inspection together with the final clearance from consultants is vital as a final certificate cannot be issued unless all defects are remedied. The quantity surveyor should be instructed that, when the contractor’s liabilities have been certified as complete, the final statement of account should be issued and to release the remainder of the retention.

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