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Recover Retention in Construction

Unfortunately, recovering retention in the construction industry is not always easy. Retention is a mechanism whereby companies retain a percentage of the sum agreed for payment (usually 3-5%) as part of a construction contract until the work is complete.

It is used to assure a defect-free, completed project, and to safeguard against later defects that a contractor fails to remedy. It is supposed to be returned to the contractor at the project’s completion and when the defects liability period has expired.

If you believe your retention payment is being unfairly held, speak with experienced construction solicitors at Helix Law today. We will diagnose your retention dispute, and if the other party have no grounds to withhold, the retention can be recovered on a No Win No Fee basis.



Common Retention Issues

As the construction process can take a long time, by the time of its completion, a company may fall into financial difficulty or struggle with cashflow in other ways; resulting in them finding reasons not to pay the retention owed.
Common excuses for withholding payment include claiming there are defects or that they are waiting on the employer to release their own retention. The latter argument is always a bad one: Sections 110 and 113 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (also known as the Construction Act) prevent parties from withholding payment until they have been paid themselves.

  • Notice to Withhold/Pay Less
    If the company cites defects for withholding the retention, then that company must adhere to the provisions for making a notice of withholding/notice to pay less as stipulated by the contract or Section 111 of the Construction Act. If the company holding the retention does not serve a valid notice to withhold or pay less, the retention must be repaid even if the defects claim is valid.
  • Insolvency
    A company is insolvent when it cannot pay money it owes on time or at all, and can be a big problem in large and lengthy construction projects. When the time comes for contractors and sub-contractors to be paid or recover retention payments, if the client has fallen into financial instability, this can lead to losses.

How Do I Get My Retention Money Back?

It is incredibly frustrating to have to wait for a retention payment to be released when you have completed satisfactory work and rectified any defects. In this case, contacting experienced retention recovery lawyers should be your next step to recovering money that is rightfully yours.

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Meet the Helix Law team

Contact Helix Law on 01273 761 990 or email: [email protected]