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If the contractor is liable for defective works for 12 years with contract under seal (6 years with contract not under seal), then what is the significance of Maintenance Period?

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Defective works constitute a breach of contract in accordance with Limitation Ordinance (Cap. 347).

An action founded on simple contract (not under seal) shall not be brought after expiration of 6 years while an action founded with contract under seal shall not be brought after expiration of 12 years. For construction works, the date of counting these actions should be the date of substantial completion.

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To answer the above question, one should note that under the contractual requirement, the contractor during Maintenance Period has the right to rectify the defects and the employer has also the right to request the contractor to make good defective work. However, after the expiry of Maintenance Period, in case of any arising of defects, the employer has to employ others to rectify these works and bring the action to court to claim the contractor for the costs associated.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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