When you’re in the middle of a project, the last thing you want is a legal dispute on your hands. On average, these construction disputes are likely to last for more than seventeen months!
Nobody wants that weighing on their shoulders, but you cannot deny the very real possibility of it happening. The best you can do is to do your research beforehand and prepare yourself for what could happen.
This article outlines five of the most common construction disputes likely to arise.
Let’s dive right in!
A mechanic’s lien refers to the payment guaranteed for improvements or work done to a particular structure.
A mechanic’s lien can be filed by a builder, contractors, suppliers of materials, laborers, and even subcontractors who have not been paid for their work. As a homeowner, you are responsible for completing all payments. Do keep in mind that even in the case of non-payment to a sub-contractor, the claim would be filed against you and not the general contractor.
What do you do in a situation like this?
To prevent facing issues like these you can consider the following options.
- Pay with joint checks to ensure that the ultimate beneficiaries get their dues
- Include a lien waiver within your contract with the general contractor
- Pay sub-contractors and laborers directly, rather than through a general contractor
In the event that such a claim is filed against you, it is wise to seek out legal assistance immediately and ensure that the claim has been made within the statute of limitations prescribed by your state.
Other common construction disputes involve contractual law and contract documents. Here are some of the reasons a dispute like this might arise.
Omissions and Errors
Omitting key terms and conditions or failure to effectively communicate them can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. Further, ambiguity in a contract always benefits the party that did not draft it.
Make sure to have a legal professional go over your documents before committing to anything.
Failure to Comply
Failing to follow through on agreed terms, is a breach of contract. Depending on the nature of the situation, the repercussions could be expensive and time-consuming.
A Differing Site Condition
A differing site condition refers to a situation where the constructor encounters an unforeseen obstacle on the site. This could lead to a change in the terms and conditions within the contract.
Construction Disputes: Prevention Is Better Than Cure
When it comes to battling construction disputes, prevention is always better than finding the cure. Not only is the cure often expensive and time-intensive, but it will delay your project.
Make sure to get the appropriate legal advice from the very start to ensure smooth sailing throughout the process.
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