Construction contracts and resolving disputes

Contracts with missing or invalid provisions

This page has information to help people who have entered into an unwritten construction contract, a contract with missing provisions, or a contract with prohibited provisions.

If a contract is missing provisions

The Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act applies standard terms to your contract if it is not in writing, or if provisions are missing. Read more on the Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act.

The implied conditions cover all of the following:

  • variations to the contract
  • the contractor's entitlement to be paid
  • the contractor's entitlement to receive progress payments or payment
  • how payment claims are made
  • how and when the recipient of the payment claim must respond to the claim
  • interest on overdue payments
  • ownership of goods supplied by the contractor to the building site
  • what happens to unfixed goods supplied to the site that have not been paid for if the principal or head contractor becomes insolvent
  • retention monies.

Exceptions to a contract

In some instances, the law overrides the provisions that appear in a contract.

You must by law make payments when they are due, even if your contract states that you are contractually dependent on another party paying you first.

If your contract says payment can be more than 50 days from the claim date, the law overrides the contract terms and you must actually pay invoices or payment claims within 28 days of receiving them.

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Last updated: 04 September 2020

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