- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 Jun 2018
It can be used with reference to the certification of practical completion, which takes place when all the works described in a construction contract have been carried out. This is a very important process as it releases half of the retention (an amount retained from payments due to the contractor to ensure that they complete the works), ends the contractor's liability for liquidated damages and signifies the beginning of the defects liability period.
The defects liability period, which follows certification of practical completion, is not a chance to correct problems apparent at practical completion, it is the period during which the contractor may be recalled to rectify defects which appear. If there are defects apparent before practical completion, then these should be rectified before a certificate of practical completion is issued.
However, practical completion is often certified when there are very minor (de minimis) items 'not affecting beneficial occupancy' that remain incomplete and that can be put right without undue interference or disturbance to occupants, i.e. the client is able to take possession of the works and use them for their intended purpose. The legal basis for this is not clear however. Unless the contract states otherwise, if the works are not complete, the client is not obliged to take possession of them.
See Practical completion for more information.
Beneficial occupation can also be used in relation to vacant domestic and non-domestic properties In assessing their liability to pay rates. A property that is capable of beneficial occupation (eg a property for which a tenant would pay rent) may be subject to rates. Again, that is not to say that the property is without defects, but that it is capable of beneficial occupation, or with minor alterations would be capable of beneficial occupation.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.
BRE and Loughborough University complete first phase refurbishment of demonstration home.
How the risk of collapse of fibrous plaster ceilings is being addressed in theatres.
If you’re a great writer and have practical experience of the construction industry, it could be you.
Frustrated by long documents or technical jargon? Put off by sign-up forms or costs? Take this 5 min survey to help improve construction knowledge.