All industries are facing an ongoing and fluid landscape amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplaces are temporarily shutting down, or have moved towards unprecedented work-at-home procedures. However, many construction jobsites remain open throughout Canada and B.C. B.C.’s Health Officer has clarified that the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people does not apply construction jobsites. Nonetheless, while the construction industry continues to operate, doing so is not without change, risk and the need to adapt.
It is one of the most common scenarios in construction litigation: work has completed, the contractor has rendered its final bill and an owner refuses to pay on the basis that there were delays or that there are defects or deficiencies with a contractor’s work. While contracts can and do provide allowances for such situations, that is not always the case.
When a builders’ lien is filed, it can cause all manner of disruptions to financial, contractual and business relations and there can often be urgency in getting a lien discharged while, at the same time, ensuring the right to dispute the underlying claim giving rise to the lien is preserved.