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Applying for an extension of time

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Posted by Philip Harris on 28 September 2012

Philip Harris Partner & Solicitor-Advocate

Applications for an extension of time should be made as soon as practicable, setting out the relevant event and explaining the grounds and period of extension required. Generally, under the main JCT contracts, an application is not a pre-requisite to getting an extension.

The architect or employer’s agent has review periods for considering extension applications.

Although, unquestionably, applications for an extension of time should be made as soon as practicable, setting out the relevant event and explaining the grounds and period of extension required, generally under the main JCT contracts an application is not a pre-requisite to getting an extension.  The architect or employer’s agent has review periods for considering extension applications.  The first review period is normally 12 weeks or up to practical completion (if sooner) and this applies to a request for an extension during the course of the works.  

At practical completion there is a further review period, again normally 12 weeks, during which the architect or employer’s agent must consider whether an extension is due to the contractor whether or not an extension has been applied for.  It is this second review period which saves the contractor who has failed to apply for an extension of time because the architect must consider whether an extension is properly due whether or not an application has been made.  Of course it may be open to the architect to say that without an application for extension of time, he had no reasonable grounds for believing that an extension of time was due.                    

Note, that after each extension granted, the architect must put in place a new non-completion certificate to replace the old one, otherwise the earlier non-completion certificate is invalidated by the new extension and liquidated damages cannot be taken.

About the author

Philip Harris

Partner & Solicitor-Advocate

Philip has 30 years’ experience as a construction solicitor and advises on all aspects of construction law.

Philip Harris

Philip has 30 years’ experience as a construction solicitor and advises on all aspects of construction law.

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