The iCIRT star-rating was developed in consultation with the public and private sectors to help purchasers find trusted building professionals with whom to build, renovate or purchase a new home or apartment.

To be rated, businesses undergo a rigorous and independent assessment. A 3-star rating or higher indicates a trustworthy building professional that demonstrates the characteristics to deliver a safe, compliant, durable built asset; honour their commitments; and fix issues if they arise. For the assessment, thousands of public and private-sector endorsed data points are reviewed, scored and weighed across six eligibility criteria: Capability, Conduct, Character, Capacity, Capital and Counterparties.

A vital issue addressed in the assessment is whether the developer, builder or construction professional is structured to promote trust and transparency for the market and consumers. This extended line of sight looks beyond the single legal entity to pay attention to the company's linkages with its associated parties, whether operational, strategic, financial or legal.

The legal enforceability of deeds

The enforceability of legal instruments and arrangements is essential when one company depends on another company to conduct its business. Legally enforceable protections for creditors are required to guard against the financial demise of related companies.

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) or trading subsidiaries, for example, will need to evidence their connection to an overarching brand. Here, an effective deed of guarantee becomes vital because it ensures the guarantor is responsible for the SPV's obligations to customers.

The demise of construction giant, Probuild is a good example. A deed of guarantee would have committed parent company WBHO to fulfilling its obligations to Probuild creditors. (Read more about the early warning signs of the Probuild collapse here).

Some companies execute legal documents with the best intentions but do not discover the inadequacy of their deed of guarantee until they receive a lower-than-expected iCIRT star-rating.

What to include in a deed?

In order to be enforceable, Construction Legal advises that a deed of guarantee should address these key criteria:

  1. The amount or limit in value terms of the contractual support
  2. The beneficiaries of the contractual support – does the deed support secured creditors, trade suppliers, customers, and past customers?
  3. The conditions under which the contractual support is triggered
  4. The duration of the deed – how long will the contractual support be provided? 
  5. The exclusions – what events or types of claims are specifically excluded from the deed? Are there assets of the guarantor that have been excluded or otherwise ring-fenced from the guarantor?

iCIRT by Equifax is an independent construction industry star-rating tool to assess builders, developers, contractors and other parties involved in building construction. For specialist legal advice or assistance with the supporting documents required for the iCIRT assessment process, contact Jessica Rippon or Oliver Sestakov at constructionlegal.com.au.

iCIRT continues to support the market by heralding a new era of transparency for consumers and the construction community. Find out more by visiting https://www.buildrating.com/

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