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Construction Law/Rules of Retention Payment


Hello Femi,

I had a project that presently occupied by end user. The contractor is asking for the half of retention money. As a Client am i right not to release the half of money since Engineer not yet issue certificate of completion,Client did not renew the post consultancy services of the engineers, i'm worried if i need to release it since the 400 days Maint. Period is not over. What are the parameters or requirements to release such money. How will i prepare the final payment & when (my understanding is when the 400 days maint period is finished and the contractor complied their scope as per contract i can pay them the whole amount.)

Thank u again.


1.Payment of half retention fees is usually in most contract conditions released after the issuance of the Practical completion certificate. If the client has occupied the project, It means, he has taken over the the works and it means that, he has elected to bring to force necessity of the Engineer to issue certificate of practical completion as the maintenance period would have started after the date of occupation. I am double sure that clauses, 44, 47 and 48 of most contract conditions that are fidic-related (Qatar GCOC) in the middlemost address this issue. I suggest that:
a. You may need to discuss with your client on the need to issued the certificate of Practical completion and let him know that, by his occupation of the project, it automatically entitles the contractor to such document (except where your contract condition did not state as such)and it also means that, after that date of occupation, the period of maintenance (400days) starts. If you do not, then, it is not a good practice.
b. You may also let your client knows that, by implication, the issuance of the Practical completion certificate would automatically entitles the Contractor for the payment of the first half of the retention money as this is usual practice in most contract condition. - Check if yours is not an exemption.
c. As a good practice of goodwill, even if the client has not renewed the post contract consultancy services, you would need to check if the post contract service you have originally did not cover maintainance period. If it does not, then, you may need as part of your consultancy contract close out or before that, issue a document to the client letting him know all outstanding contractual issues like this, their implication on the contract and the parties to contract and advise him accordingly. Let him also see the need to renew the consultancy contract so as to take care of the outstanding issues. You may alternatively send a fees proposal (per hour or per outstanding services) to him on how you wish to be reimbursed should the client consider engaging you to offer the services for the outstanding issues separately.

2. Just as you said, final payment on Contracts are generally paid after the expiration of the maintenance period and satisfactory execution and remedial of all defects through final accounts statement and certification. On this statement, all the retention are released with final payment and any necessary deduction in case remedial works are not satisfactorily carried out.

Hope this is okay.


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Femi Alofe


I can answer all questions relating to the followings: 1. Contract Administration - variations, contract clauses interpretation, all post contract procedures, valuations and certificates questions, extension of time issues and prolongation cost matters. 2. Contract Practice - Any questions regarding forms of contract like JCT, FIDIC & other Bespoke forms. 3. Quantification, measurements and Estimating questions 4. Contracts and construction law questions and dispute resolutions problems. 5. All FIDIC Conditions of contracts


Out of my 24 years experience in construction industry, i have the following specific experience: 1. Contract Administration - 15 years in contract administration with over 10yrs in Managerial positions covering africa and the middleeast. 2. Contract Practice - 15 years experience with over 10yrs in Managerial and expert positions covering africa, north america and the middleeast. 3. All pre-contract procedures, Tendering, Quantification, measurements and Estimating questions - 20 years experience. 4. Contracts and construction law questions and dispute resolutions problems - 15 years experience with over 10yrs in Managerial and expert positions and 5 years expert witness and active practice in arbitration proceedings covering africa and the middleeast.

1. FAIQS - Fellow, Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Australia 2. FRICS - Fellow, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK 3. CCP - Certified Cost Professional AACEI, USA 4. PQS - CIQS, CANADA 5. ACIArb. - CIArb, UK 6. MNIQS - NIQS, NIGERIA 7. RQS - QSRBN, NIGERIA

1. AACEI RP on Estimating, 2010

1. B.Tech (QS) 2. RICS professional course, CEM - UK 3. MSc , UK NARIC 4. Professional Doctorate ( to commence 2016)

Past/Present Clients
1. Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Dubai UAE 2. Larsen & Toubro (oman) LLC 3. Archi + Web consortium, Abuja Nigeria 4. George Dike & Associates, Minna Nigeria 5. Public works Authority (Ashghal), Doha Qatar

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