GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO CONTRACTS
29-115. Construction contracts. (1) This section is applicable with respect to all contracts entered into on or after July 1, 1990, between owners and original contractors relating to the construction of any private work of improvement.
(2) In any contract relating to the construction of any private work of improvement, the retention proceeds withheld by the owner from the original contractor or by the original contractor from any subcontractor from any payment shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the payment and in no event shall the total retention withheld exceed five percent (5%) of the contract price. However, the five percent (5%) maximum that may be withheld does not apply if the original contractor or the subcontractor fails to provide a performance bond issued by a surety acceptable to the owner or original contractor if requested to do so by the owner or original contractor respectively. The five percent (5%) maximum shall not apply to any contract for the performance of a private work of improvement to residential real property consisting of one (1) to four (4) units occupied or to be occupied by the owner.
(3) Within thirty-five (35) days from the date on which the work of improvement is substantially complete, as mutually agreed to by the parties to the contract, the retention withheld by the owner shall be reduced to the lesser of one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the estimated value of work yet to be completed in accordance with the contract or the retention then withheld by the owner, not to exceed five percent (5%) of the contract price.
Within thirty-five (35) days from the date of final completion of the work of improvement, the retention withheld by the owner shall be released, except in the event of a dispute between the owner and the original contractor, the owner may withhold from the final retention payment an amount not to exceed one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the estimated value of the issue in dispute. The owner may condition the final release of the retention upon receipt of satisfactory lien waivers from all persons with actual or potential lien claims on the work of improvement.
(4) Subject to subsection (5) of this section, within ten (10) days from the time that all or any portion of the retention proceeds are received by the original contractor, the original contractor shall pay each of its subcontractors from whom retention has been withheld, each subcontractor’s share of the retention received. However, if a retention payment received by the original contractor is specifically designated for a particular subcontractor, payment of the retention shall be made to the designated subcontractor.
(5) The original contractor shall not be required to pay the retention to a subcontractor if a bona fide dispute exists between the subcontractor and the original contractor. The amount withheld from the retention payment shall not exceed one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the estimated value of the work yet to be completed or issue in dispute.
(6) It shall be against public policy for any party to require any other party to waive any provision of this statute.
[29-115, added 1990, ch. 415, sec. 1, p. 1151; am. 1998, ch. 271, sec. 1, p. 900.]