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Ontario’s Construction Act establishes a regime of strict rules that governs the relationships between all of the participants in the construction industry, from property owners and lenders to suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors. The Act governs how holdbacks are to be retained or released, work is to be invoiced, payment is to be made, and disputes resolved. By carefully following the rules, parties can benefit from powerful legal tools that protect their interests by securing payment or shielding them from liability. Falling afoul of the rules, however, may risk incurring liability or losing the protections that would otherwise be available.
Recent comprehensive amendments to the Construction Act have made the rules more challenging to navigate, even for experienced participants in the industry. Fortunately, the Construction Law Group at Mann Lawyers assembles a team of seasoned professionals with expertise in every facet of the construction process. Drawing on various specializations including corporate law, real estate, environmental law, commercial litigation, and arbitration, our team is able to assist in navigating even complex construction questions.
The Construction Law Group is well positioned to assist:
The Construction Act includes strict rules about what funds must be held back until the completion of a project, and when these funds must be released. Failing to properly account for holdbacks risks exposing the lender itself to liability.
Owners can be subject to the holdback rules that apply to lenders, while also having to abide by the rules for prompt payment of invoices. Small disagreements between owners and contractors – or even between contractors and subcontractors – can also result in a lien being registered against the property itself.
As the link between construction workers and property owners, general contractors can encounter challenging situations involving payment or disputes regarding the timing and quality of the work.
Subcontractors can sometimes feel powerless as small players in the midst of a large project. However, the Construction Act gives subcontractors access to powerful legal protections involving prompt payment, the ability to lien property, and rapid dispute resolution. To gain these benefits, however, properly following the rules and timelines is crucial.
Businesses providing supplies for a construction project may not think of themselves as closely involved enough to benefit from the Construction Act rules, but in fact they can still benefit from many of the protections available to contractors, including the ability to lien the property. This is so even if the supplier has little knowledge about the project itself.
For any construction-related issue, whether it’s non-payment for work performed, an environmental roadblock, or releasing a financing draw in a timely fashion, getting the right advice ahead of time is crucial. Contact our Construction Law Group before problems arise, and we can help you to avoid them entirely.
To learn more about our Construction Law service area and some of the legal issues as they may arise, please visit our Construction Law blog.