ContractsXpert 2021: Protect against price rises and unforeseen delays
Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
ContractsXpert 2021 is here! Our ContractsXpert software is already a really useful, inexpensive tool for protecting the builder (and the customer) from misunderstandings and mis-communication. The Plain English contracts leave no one in doubt about the work covered, value, obligations, payment timings, defects, termination, warranties, insurance… It takes minutes to create the letters and the contracts themselves. Couldn’t be easier!
But ContractsXpert 2021 has a new addition absolutely relevant to the crazy times builders are currently dealing with.
Protection for projects starting in at least 12 months’ time
There’s a good chance you’ve recently won jobs that won’t be starting until well into 2022. With escalating material prices it’s worrying to think that the jobs you’re winning are going to cost way more than the figure you’ve just shaken on.
That’s where our new clause comes in…
Our specialist barrister has been hard at work on our behalf:
- A new clause allowing the altering of the contract price in exceptional circumstances e.g. pandemic or legal obligation that could not be reasonably foreseen when the contract was issued
- An alternative quotation letter about re-pricing for the job nearer commencement if you’re agreeing to a project that is 12-18 months from starting.
Take a look at the Project Wizard which gives you the option to say yes or no to re-quoting. If the job is happening within 12 months we’d suggest you choose ‘no’. Anything with a start date beyond 12 months, you can choose to request that the software include a reference to re-quoting. You don’t have to write it – the software does it for you! (Click on the image to enlarge).
And here’s a glimpse of the letter explaining the price cannot be fixed this far in advance. (Click on the image to enlarge).
The legal team has also given the software a UK GDPR review (now Brexit has occurred) and a more general legal review to ensure the contracts and letters are bang up-to-date.
There’s now an updated definition of “Insolvency Event” in both subcontractor and client contracts to align with recent legal changes.
Two new insolvency events were added to the Insolvency Act 1986 by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (“CIGA”). HBXL’s Barrister has added these to the definition in the contracts. However, one of the major effects of CIGA is that a supplier (for example, a subcontractor) may no longer (i) terminate; or (ii) probably, suspend or otherwise withhold supplying their services on the grounds of insolvency of the party to whom they are supplying goods or services. Thus, if a contractor goes into administration, the subcontractor cannot use the contract to terminate for insolvency. However, if the situation is reversed (i.e., the subcontractor goes into insolvency), the contractor is still permitted to terminate for insolvency.
The contract has been amended reference the termination clauses to allow termination for insolvency “if permitted at law”. That (a) maintains the ability to terminate “down the line”; and (b) means that if termination “up the line” is possible, the clause allows it (termination is a big step in any contract and parties should always take legal advice before doing it).
Don’t forget your legal obligations when selling your services…
To comply with the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, legally you need a ‘Notice of the Right to Cancel’, ‘Start Work Now Form’, ‘Changing Work Form’ and Cancellation Forms. They’re all in the software – along with contracts for sub-contractors – you know how those verbal agreements can go wrong…
So instead of hoping for the best – how about being supported by the law? For £199+VAT, the price of, say a circular saw, you get 12 months’ protection. Or for £399+VAT you can have the software for life. Leaving your invoicing to chance just doesn’t cut it.
Don’t have ContractsXpert yet? Give us a quick call on 0117 916 7898 and one of the team will talk you through the software. You can also arrange a speedy online demonstration of the software. Or you can go directly to HBXL’s online shop where you can subscribe for 12-months or buy a lifetime licence.
If you already have ContractsXpert – good news! You require an in-date Support & Updates package to automatically receive the new update. Otherwise give the team a call on 0117 916 7892 or go to the online shop where you can renew or upgrade depending on the age of your current software.