October 5, 2022

If you’ve read my project up date for September, you’ll recall that I received a Delay Letter from Henley which caught me by surprise. In today’s blog post I’d like to expand on that. Below is a copy of the letter Henley emailed to me: 

Delay Letter
The outcome of the Delay Letter is that the project completion date is pushed back by 13 days.

You’ll notice that the date of the letter is September 27, 2022, and before that date I was blissfully unaware that there was a problem. Every fortnight my Henley project planner, *B*, emails me an update of the works scheduled for next 2 weeks and in the 2 that I received in September, on the 2nd and 16th ,  I was told that the roof install would be progressing.  

HIA Contract

Looking at the dates on the delay letter, it appears Henley were aware of delays from at least the 15th of September. I was not at all happy that there was no effort on behalf of Henley to give me a heads up that there was a likelihood of a delay, but there was little I could do about it. See clause 34 from the standard HIA building contract: 

HIA contract, clause 34

As you can see from the HIA contract, the reasons for a time extension can be quite broad. In recent times there has been a special condition added to the contract which specifically covers delays due to the impact of Covid-19. This is in the form of a “special condition” found in Schedule 4, clause 4, which is detailed below: 

Clause 4

Unfortunately, due to the broad and hazy nature of reasons available in your contract, an unscrupulous builder could hit you with one or more delays to your project finish date. It would be easy to blame <insert excuse> and you’d likely have little recourse to do anything about it. Needless to say, I’m going to keep a very close eye out for any future project delays. 

Post-publishing edit...

A few days after this post went live  I got another email containing another delay letter – Covid again. This time there was an extra 3 days added to the length of my contracted finish date.

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