Consumers and construction contracts (2019) 30 2 Cons.Law 24 [Archived]
Consumers and construction contracts (2019) 30 2 Cons.Law 24 [Archived]

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Consumers and construction contracts (2019) 30 2 Cons.Law 24 [Archived]
  • Residential construction contracts: the position
  • The 2013 Regulations
  • Conclusion

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 1 March 2019.

Peter Kitson of Russell-Cooke LLP says legislation is needed to provide a proper basis for consumers to contract with construction industry suppliers. Existing legislation is hard to apply in construction and creates unenforceable rights, he argues.

Key Points

  1. Individual consumers procuring domestic, residential works are at a significant disadvantage when negotiating and concluding contracts and are uniquely vulnerable to bad practice

  2. Although the relevant provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 can be applied to construction projects, the Act does not deal with the specific challenges of construction contracts

  3. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 are difficult to apply to construction projects and create unenforceable rights

  4. The government should legislate to deal specifically with domestic construction projects

It's generally accepted that some consumer protection laws are desirable or even necessary. It is similarly uncontroversial to suggest that consumers are particularly vulnerable, and especially worthy of protection, when procuring construction work in their homes. From rogue traders to delayed projects to defective works, most of us involved in the construction industry can provide examples of poor practice, inadequate contracts and disputes.

The scale and complexity of domestic residential projects varies enormously. While many domestic projects may be relatively