Legal Advisory: New Massachusetts Retainage Law for Private Construction Projects




Q. What private construction projects does the new Massachusetts Retainage Law affect?

A.  The law applies to all private construction projects in which the prime contract exceeds
$3 million (except those involving 1-4 unit residential projects).

Q. What are the main elements of the new Massachusetts Retainage Law?

A. The main elements include:

  • Limits retainage on periodic payments to no more than 5%
  • Requires Prime Contractor to submit notice of substantial completion to Owner within 14 days of substantial completion
  • Owner to accept or reject notice of substantial completion within 14 days of receipt of notice
  • Defines substantial completion as date the work is sufficiently complete so that Owner may occupy or utilize project for its intended use.
  • Requires party withholding retainage to first provide written notice describing incomplete or defective work and deliverables
  • Requires Owner to furnish Prime Contractor with written punch list, including deliverables, within 14 days after acceptance of notice of substantial completion
  • Requires Prime Contractor to furnish subcontractors with written punch list, including deliverables, within 21 days after Owner’s acceptance of notice of substantial completion
  • Requires good faith certifications to be made
  • Allows for electronic communications
  • Any contract provision that “purports to waive, limit or subvert” the Retainage Law or “redefine or expand the conditions for achievement of substantial completion for payment of retainage” will be void and unenforceable

ABCC Issues Advisory On New Sunday Opening Time

This month the ABCC released an advisory  highlighting and explaining the new changes to Sunday opening times for off-premise licensees.

Effective on October 23, 2014 off-premise licensees may sell alcoholic beverages beginning at 10:00 a.m on Sundays. However, this new opening time does not come without certain actions that must be taken by the licensee.

In the advisory the ABCC writes, “Although under the law, these licensees are entitled as a matter of right to open at 10:00 a.m. and as such do not need the approval of the Local Licensing Authorities, licensees must notify the Local Licensing Authorities about the change of hours.”

This step should not be an overwhelming deterrence to the new early opening times as it can be completed by following the the change of hours process found on the ABCC’s website. Through this process licensees will be able to notify their local licensing authority of their new opening time. Since the law does not go into effect for another twenty days this gives licensees plenty of time to complete this process in time for early opening.

If a licensees fails to follow this process the licensee will be prohibited from making sales at the earlier time.