Connect with us

Property

Construction law practice in Thailand

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Seeking a perfect home may be an arduous process but the complexities of building a property in Thailand are multiplied without a solid construction contract, as many homeowners and property developers will attest. A crucial part of any good contract is cost assessment and management.

Many problems in construction projects occur because there is no written contract recorded between the parties. Sometimes, a contract has been taken from the internet, which is inappropriate to the circumstances, or a heavily modified standard form of contract is used. However, whatever style of construction contract is used, the danger for the unwary purchaser may lie in what is missing, rather than what is there.

The intricacies of the construction industry and construction law are many and it is important that purchasers seek specialist help before entering contracts. Contrary to most peoples’ preconceptions, contractors are not out to cheat their clients, and it is therefore essential that construction contracts are well balanced and not overly onerous upon the contractor, so causing disputes to occur.

Fundamentally, a contract is a legal means of making two parties understand each other, so, theoretically at least, the onus is upon the purchaser to decide upon the project’s goals and the means to achieve them. For substantial projects, it is worth considering a quantity surveyor’s full service, or, for those with limited budgets, using one to assist at the outset and serving as an advisor consequently.

Professionals, who are trained in construction law and construction accounting can help keep costs within budget without sacrificing form and function.

Two alternative price mechanisms predominate, ‘Cost-Plus’, and ‘Fixed Price’. Cost-Plus means payment of the contractor’s bills and invoices plus an agreed mark-up. Fixed Price (lump sum) contracts allow only price increases for construction plan or materials changes chosen by the purchaser, and, whilst essential for small to medium commercial developments in order to cap costs, the plans and specifications have to be as complete as possible and included in the contract. The advantage is that fixed price contracts eliminate negotiations and billing surprises.

An effective contract should include the following :

1. Clearly established terms of payment: Most contracts indicate installments to be paid on certain dates or linked to milestones;

2. A clearly stated date for completion: If the purchaser makes changes it is reasonable that the parties be clear about the revised cost and a reasonable time extension be given based upon foreseeable delays arising. Equally, the purchaser must avoid the contractor seeking to avoid responsibility for delays beyond his control when in fact the periods of delay ought to be anticipated by an experienced contractor;

3. Liquidated Damages: This means that the contractor agrees to forfeit a fixed financial charge for every day that the ‘date for completion’, or any agreed extended date, is delayed. This may be particularly appropriate where the purchaser has a compelling
reason to rely upon the date, always provided that the charge is a genuine pre-estimate of loss and not a disproportionately high penalty;

4. Title to Materials and Equipment: Title to materials should pass to the purchaser on the earlier of payment or delivery to site. This is to protect the purchaser against contractor insolvency. The contract should provide that the purchaser is entitled to safeguard the site upon any indication of contractor insolvency and to be granted title to the contractor’s equipment. The passing of title is to prevent a liquidator from claiming materials and equipment for sale. On the contractor’s insolvency the contract must automatically terminate so that the purchaser has no further obligation to make payment and is entitled to deduct his losses and damages;

5. Post-construction Liability: Not only should the contractor be liable to repair structural and non-structural defects, but he should also remain liable for latent defects. A method routinely employed to ensure that contractors live up to this obligation is a clause written into the contract allowing the purchaser to retain a small fixed percentage from each installment payment, to be released only when it is established that any defects have been identified and repaired;

6. Dispute Resolution: A well drafted dispute resolution clause ought not only to have the effect of describing what will happen in the event of an impasse, but also have a positive role to play in dispute avoidance. Clauses that promote positive discussion, that the parties are obliged to give notice and attempt to mutually resolve any dispute rather than arbitrate or issue proceedings, are always to be preferred. A clause stating that construction will continue despite the appearance of a dispute is essential;

7. Grounds for Termination: If the purchaser has to contend with repeated breaches for poor workmanship, sub-standard practices, or repeated missed deadlines, he might be entitled to terminate the contract, provided potential breaches are clearly defined in the contract.

Building one’s dream home can undoubtedly be both a rewarding and a frustrating experience for a purchaser, but so long as a sound construction contract is in place, containing well written and easily administered clauses, this can help limit any unwelcome liabilities and mitigate foreseeable problems.

This article has been written by International Law Office Patong Beach Co Ltd, a Phuket based law firm. In case of inquiry, please email sam@ilo-phuket.com.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 min ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests29 mins ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Crime48 mins ago

Police arrest suspect who allegedly killed Covid patient and 7-Eleven clerk

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Pattaya2 hours ago

Chon Buri governor says Pattaya bars will stay closed for now, Covid cases remain high

Crime2 hours ago

15 year old stabbed at private school

Thailand2 hours ago

UPDATE: Police identify alleged gunman who opened fire at field hospital, killing a patient

Thailand3 hours ago

PM orders investigation into pricey street lamps

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Thai Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket governor outlines plans to track and trace foreign arrivals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Latest wave exceeds 200,000 cases

Thailand4 hours ago

Guitarist from “Playground” dies in road incident

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

First delivery of Sinopharm vaccines approved for distribution

Thailand5 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Thai Immigration – Are you legal? Latest Covid and Phuket sandbox

Phuket5 hours ago

Flight traffic to Phuket expected to increase by 6% next month

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending