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Change order notices rejected? The owner is driving us to dispute!!

If the owner on your project starts refusing to acknowledge or reject change order notices or delay notices, beware!

Our experience of construction dispute on projects has taught us that some owners don’t play by the rules. Or at least, they like to bend the rules to suit them.

Here, I take a look at the tactics owners use that can force a contract into a construction dispute, resulting in the contractor incurring substantial additional costs, whilst souring the relationship between contractor and owner.

I consider there to be five telltale signs that a project owner is not playing it by the book and thereby putting your project at risk.

Number 3: refusing to acknowledge or reject change order notices or reported delays

Obstinate owners can render a project unworkable, and a telltale sign of game playing is an insistence on “political” reporting, to ensure no bad news is reported.

When an owner refuses to acknowledge or accept contractor reports explaining that a project is in delay, or refuses to accept or reject change changes claimed by the contractor, a construction dispute is almost certainly on the cards.

The contractor is only doing what the contract asks them to do, so the owner should gladly accept honest and reliable reporting, but some owners insist that no delays are reported and continually reject valid changes.

Proper contract management is required to ensure variations and delays are accounted for in such circumstances. Inevitably, any political reporting will cause severe problems for the contractor whilst to trying to evidence the delays he has suffered.

In the final part in this series of blogs, I’ll explain what you can do if this does occur.

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