Chris Holwell considers the games played by parties to construction contracts to manipulate payment requirements

The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 was substantially amended with effect from October 2011. Soon afterwards, people started playing games with its provisions - some can be very expensive for the loser.

The typical contracts to which the Act applies are building and engineering contracts; the appointments of architects, engineers, and other construction professionals; and development agreements that do not also transfer a major interest in land.

The Act requires all such contracts to contain an 'adequate mechanism' to determine what payments become due and when. In a broad overview, the following provisions are include...

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