Disputes flare between subbies and smaller house builders

Grant Prior 4 years ago

Relations are souring between subcontractors and smaller housing developers as the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis continues to create tension across construction.

The Enquirer has been contacted by a string of specialists caught up in rows with clients on residential jobs.

The major house builders are gradually returning to work.

But many of the problems are centred-on sites run by small and medium sized developers.

One groundworks specialist said: “We are caught up in a dispute with a housing developer in Buckinghamshire.

“They closed their sites at the end of March along with many companies. We were due to have our February Valuation paid on April 1 when we they asked us along with all the other subcontractors on site to agree to accept just 50% of the valuation.

“We declined as we felt this was unfair as all the works were carried out prior to Covid-19 and we had in turn paid all our suppliers.

“To top it all they then asked the trades to return to site last week without receiving any payment.

“We cannot get them to even give us common courtesy and reply to our emails or telephone calls. We are trying to do the best for our suppliers, but companies like this put all the trades in untenable situations.”

Another decorating specialist said: “We have been hit with a seven-day notice by a housing developer.

“Our staff and our self employed workers are on furlough yet the developer is demanding us back on site by the end of this week to work on their flats.”

Emails from the developer seen by the Enquirer state: “We are not being aggressive just acting on our own predicament in line with government guidance .

“We are contractually bound, despite the pandemic. Therefore we need our contractors to perform.

“It is clear that although the country is on lockdown the construction industry is not .

“You clearly do not have the appetite to complete the works in the timeframe which you have agreed to and we have no option but to issue you this notice.

“We have at no point closed the site and we have had other trades working safely.”

Another M&E specialist said: “We have submitted our February valuations and the developer has refused point blank to pay them.

“They sent us an email saying their board has decided not to pay to protect their business.

“What about our business?”

Latest news

Failed strip out specialist owes £1.5m to supply chain

More than 100 subcontractors and suppliers left with unpaid bills by Type Ten Limited
32 mins ago

Green light for £300m Fenland energy from waste scheme

Wisbech incinerator will generate 50MW from half a million tonnes of waste
14 hours ago

Multiplex starts on 50-storey Thames tower

Developer green lights construction of latest phase of £3bn Bankside Yards scheme
20 hours ago

McLaren lodges fresh Reading Broad Street Mall plan

Town centre scheme will deliver 600 homes in four towers
24 hours ago

SMEs star in £3.2bn social housing upkeep deal

Around 85% of Efficiency North's framework winners are local firms
1 day ago

Scottish NHS new building projects delayed for two years

Spending clampdown hits over a dozen planned projects
1 day ago

Balfour M25 workers hold strike ballot

Motorway maintenance crews unhappy with 3.4% pay rise offer
1 day ago

Rainsford Contracts acquires M&E specialist

Expanded contractor will have turnover of £45m
1 day ago

Statom expands with launch of Northern HQ

RC frames specialist now targeting jobs in Scotland and north of England
2 days ago

High Court dismisses Stonehenge tunnel challenge

Judge quashes legal challenge against Government consent for £1.7bn job
2 days ago

£1.5bn Teesside carbon capture scheme consented

Final investment decision expected this year for construction start
2 days ago

First viaduct steel section installed at HS2’s complex junction job

Victor Buyck Steel Construction install first 300t viaduct section
2 days ago

Sister scaffold firms file administration notices

BCM Scaffolding Services and Scaffteq West employ 100 people between them
2 days ago

McLaughlin & Harvey suffers £8.6m loss

Cost inflation and Scottish landfill tax legislation hit Antrim-based group
2 days ago

Regulator opens probe into National Highways delivery

ORR concerned about 'dip in performance' on capital projects
2 days ago

Sir Robert McAlpine chief Paul Hamer exits

Hamer replaced as CEO by former Lendlease Europe boss Neil Martin
5 days ago

Unite Students to build £250m Newcastle scheme

Work to start this summer on revamp of Castle Leazes site
2 days ago

Britcon poaches Tilbury Douglas business development chief

Don Stewart joins Britcon board as strategic director
2 days ago

Building control system on verge of collapse

Calls to delay new registration scheme
5 days ago

Go-ahead for UK’s largest mass timber structure neighbourhood

Visionary 685-home sustainable village will be built in Lewes, East Sussex
5 days ago

£90m Manchester zig-zag library approved

Work to start this summer on iconic city centre building
5 days ago

Mace clear to start £34m weather-watching HQ job

Planning granted for European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
5 days ago

Councils to turn screw on building owners over fire safety upgrades

Government tells councils to step up legal action against rogue building owners
21 mins ago

Ford Dagenham site revamp to hit nearly 4,000 homes

Latest phases approved for £1bn Beam Park redevelopment
5 days ago

Sisk names new data centres regional director

John Hennessey appointed to lead expansion
6 days ago

Balfour starts £171m Sussex Uni student DBFO job

West Slope Residences will provide 1,900 bedrooms
6 days ago

Director and site manager sentenced after labourer crushed

Worker killed during demolition on renovation scheme
6 days ago

Construction new work activity fell 2% in 2023

Order figures in last quarter of 2023 slide to lowest level since Covid
6 days ago

BAM Construction falls £13m into red

BAM Nuttall shines as profit trebles to £66m
6 days ago

Oxford United plans first UK all-electric stadium

16,000-seat stadium will include 180-bed hotel and conference centre
6 days ago

Contractor services