The annual ARCADIS Global Disputes Reports consistently link construction disputes with failures to:
- Administer the contract properly (i.e. run the project)
- Understand or comply with the contract’s obligations
- Use the procedures in the contract.
If you create a letter of intent that is easy to read, easy to understand and easy to use then you will avoid these key causes of disputes.
Easy to read
Your letter of intent will be easy to read if it has clear headings, short sentences and simple words. It is a myth that contracts need complex language and jargon.
A 500-word letter of intent helps you avoid disputes because not only will the contractor read it:
- Both parties can negotiate it: an easy to read letter of intent acts as a checklist for negotiation.
- Both parties can check it records what you agreed: simple words mean the parties can immediately verify whether the letter is an accurate reflection of your agreement.
Easy to understand
- The parties will have the confidence to raise queries: with clear and crisp content, you’ll knows what each word and each paragraph means, and will not be afraid to check if something does not make sense.
- The parties will take responsibility: they can resolve legal and practical issues quickly, without the need to get lawyers involved.
Easy to use
Your letter of intent will be easy to use if it accurately covers all that it needs and is designed with the parties in mind. It is a myth that contracts should cover everything the parties can possibly think of, resulting in tedious length.
A 500-word letter of intent helps you avoid disputes because:
- It builds trust: when the parties can both use your letter of intent they are more likely to find ways to make it really work, in the process becoming more collaborative.
- The supplier wants to comply: a clear letter of intent leaves no scope for debate about what the parties are meant to do – there is no ‘wriggle room’.
What should you do?
A simple letter of intent can minimise disputes due to its contents, as well as build better contract relationships. Why not write a simpler version today?
This post is taken from Chapter 7 of How to Write a Simple and Effective Letter of Intent in Just 500 Words which is available from Amazon in paperback or kindle editions.