Overwhelmingly the most misunderstood section of the BCIPA is the requirement to send a ‘notice’ to the respondent when no payment schedule has been issued to the claimant within the 10 business days from the service of the payment claim.
This notice, referred to as a section 20A(2) notice, is required before the claimant can proceed to either court or adjudication.
Prior to the December 2014 BCIPA amendments, this notice provision only applied if the claimant elected to pursue adjudication rather than the starting proceedings in the court to recover the debt and was referred to as a ‘notice of intent to apply for adjudication’.
Otherwise the purpose remains the same; that is, once served it gives the respondent a further 5 business days in which to provide the claimant with a payment schedule.
One key difference though is that this section 20A(2) notice, unlike the previous section 21(2) notice, must state it is made under the BCIPA.
Furthermore, a consistent problem among claimants is the timing of the section 20A(2) notice.
The notice can only be issued after the due date for payment of the payment claim. It is not uncommon for claimants to wrongfully issue the notice before or on the due date for payment which, if not corrected, unfortunately renders any subsequent adjudication application invalid.
If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.