Date of Possession

An interesting observation from one of our clients.

Many of our contractors request if they can start ‘setting up’ site a few days ahead of the actual possession date stated in the Contract, so in order to put in site cabins / start with scaffolding etc. On the basis that they can then start the ‘actual’ works on day One of the possession date of the Contract.

We are not keen of that for insurance reasons and state their programme should reflect site setting up in week one.

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Hi Deb, there are three relevant dates in the contract; the Contract Date, the starting date and access dates, the latter two are identified in the Contract Data part one of which neither are defined terms but link to various clauses in the contract such as 30.1, C-F20.4, 50.1, etc. The Contract Date is a defined term under clause 11.2(4) and is the date when the contract came into existence.
The starting date is the date from which most of the contract procedures start, e.g. 50.1, 83.3; access dates are the dates when the Contractor can start work on the Site as stated in 30.1.
With regards to insurances, clause 83.3 states that these have to be in place from the starting date, so working before the access date shouldn’t be a problem if the ‘setting up’ is in a Working Area, if it is within the Site then there would need to be an agreement to allow access before the access date.
Clause 84.1 actually refers to an action before the starting date, it requires the Contractor to submit evidence of the insurances to the Project Manager for acceptance.

Hope that helps, happy to discuss.