NEC4 Subcontract: Recovery of costs under Clause 82

We have a situation where a Subcontractor has damaged an item of plant which the Contractor had on hire. We intend to recover the cost of the damage under clause 82.1, which we believe is a Subcontractor’s liability under 81.1, bullet point 3.

However, whether an item of hired-in equipment counts as “Contractor’s property” has been challenged in two ways:

  1. Should hired-in equipment be classified as the “Contractor’s property”? It is our assertion that as it was in our possession at the time of the incident, it is effectively our “property”.

  2. What is classified as “property”? The Subcontractor has asserted that “property” should only apply to buildings or premises. However, it is our understanding that in this context “property” is meant in the wider meaning of “belonging to”, and can relate to any possession.

Furthermore, our reading of Cl. 82 suggests that the recovery of costs is not presented as a compensation event, but by separate claim. This stands to reason as none of the compensation evvents listed are applicable in this scenario (didn’t stop the Subcontractor completing the works, or delay them). Is this reading correct? Not a CE, therefore a separate claim?