Q&As

Does the Construction Pre-Action Protocol apply to a low value dispute between a homeowner and builder? Does it make a difference if the homeowner is the potential claimant?

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Produced in partnership with Ryan Turner of Lamb Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 28/04/2020

The following Construction Q&A produced in partnership with Ryan Turner of Lamb Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does the Construction Pre-Action Protocol apply to a low value dispute between a homeowner and builder? Does it make a difference if the homeowner is the potential claimant?

Does the pre-action-protocol'>Construction Pre-Action Protocol apply to a low value dispute between a homeowner and builder? Does it make a difference if the homeowner is the potential claimant?

As set out in paragraph 1 of the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols, the purpose of the Protocols regime under the Civil Procedure Rules is to set out the steps the court would normally expect parties to take before commencing proceedings for particular types of claims.

Paragraph 1.1 of the Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes (2nd Edition) (the Protocol) states that it ‘applies to all construction and engineering disputes (including professional negligence claims against architects, engineers and quantity surveyors)’.

The Protocol accordingly has a wide scope of application regardless of the value of the dispute.

Even in circumstances where the claim is on first principles only, eg a debt claim based on unpaid invoices, the likely reason for non-payment by an employer party will be allegations of defective workmanship or incorrect valuation. These features would bring the dispute within the Protocol. For further discussion on this issue, see Q&A: Is there any guidance on when the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims applies as opposed to other protocols applying? In particular, which protocol would apply where a private builder company is owed money by an individual

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