|The biggest challenge for any builder, big or small is maintaining a proper record of the progress of the works. Paperwork!|
|The easiest way to maintain paperwork records is to include in the contract a clause that allows for the Contract to be varied as provided for in the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 (ETA).|
|This means you have to read the Contract and ensure that the “Notices” clause provides for variation to the Contract by electronic communication.|
|The ETA permits the creation (formation) and variation of contracts using electronic transmission. It says – “any transaction in the nature of a contract, agreement or other arrangement” is a transaction for the purposes of the ETA.|
|Another method is the use of IPADs that are capable of accepting writing with a stylus and which can be signed once the agreement is recorded. (We used to tell people to write the agreement in their hardcopy diary and both sign and date it as a record of their agreement – a signed variation in writing.)|
|REMEMBER – if using emails in communications between Owner and Builder do not continue any exchange of emails for more than two (2) A4 pages because the cost of printing repetitious emails for litigation is enormous and for the moment it is still necessary to print an email in most cases to be able to show it to a witness in the witness box and/or the judge or other adjudicator. This will change as electronic record systems develop to a stage where large volumes of documents can be scanned, sorted into relevant and irrelevant and produced page by page to witnesses and simultaneously to others, such as opposition barristers, parties and/or the judge or other adjudicator. This is currently available in matters involving large amounts but not in smaller amounts because it is uneconomical.|
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This article provides information that is general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.