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Construction Law/Application of Storage Rental Charge on Materials by Contractor


Mr. Elliot,

Country: Trinidad and Tobago (UK based laws)
Form of Contract: None exists, the contract was based on a Letter of Award
Works: Fabrication and Erection of Steel Structure

The project has a lack of documentation.
The contractor had nearly completed works until he was instructed to suspend works (the mechanism unknown) until further notice. This suspension was due to an injunction filed against the employer for the building.

The contractor has submitted an application for rental charges for material currently residing in his fabrication yard which the client has already paid for.

Is this claim justifiable?
Does Mesne Profits apply?
What additional information is required to justify this claim?

Dear Mark,

1. The claim is justified, but the actual costs will have to be proven.
2. I doubt it.
3. The contractor would have to prove the costs involved, probably by getting rental costs for a similar area of land in the same locality.  The problem is that he could not take out a fixed term lease so it will be more expensive to lease the land on a monthly basis.  If you wish the goods to be stored in a special way, waterproof, controlled environment, secure storage, then it would be more expensive.  

If the suspension is likely to last more than, say, 84 days, then, for safety and certainty, the Employer may wish to arrange for his own storage, especially as there is little documentation.  Then there will be no discussion over the justification of the rental and its amount.  

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Peter M. Elliott


First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol before submitting a question.


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Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

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