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Jawaby Property Investment Limited – v – The Interiors Group Limited [2016] EWHC 557(TCC)

This recent case is a harsh lesson to contractors and subcontractors alike, in ensuring that an application is clearly marked as such and is fully complaint with the requirements of the contract.  Any defects in the format or content of that alleged application are likely to be harshly dealt with by the courts.  The court has previous in this regard, as Caledonian Modula v Mar City developments [2015] BLR 694 and Henia Investments v Beck Interiors [2015] BLR 704.

The courts stated that ‘ … this is an area where, as the authorities make clear, there is little scope for latitude.  If a contractor wishes to have the benefit of the interim payment regime such as that contained in the Contract, then its application for interim payment must be in substance, form and intent an interim application stating the sum considered by the contractor as due at the relevant due date and it must be free from ambiguity.  The Valuation here was not such an application.’

The use of the word ‘initial’ in the application (showing this was not a firm or final assessment), a failure to adhere to a deadline request (written request issued), a failure to value the works to the due date  (the value taken was a few days short of that date) and errors in the content of the supporting documents (wrongly referring to the previous valuation) all led to the finding that the application was not valid, as it did not comply with clause 4.8.1 of JCT DB 2011.  Thus no monies were due as no default event had occurred.

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