Construction law in California can be complex, and it is essential to understand the best strategies for resolving disputes with contractors. Hence, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced and seasoned construction attorney to resolve your disputes in the fastest and most efficient manner.
However, we will be laying emphasis on the different ways contractor disputes can arise between parties in this article. Let’s dive right in.
Disagreements Between A Homeowner And A Contractor
The key to any contractor-owner relationship is a well-drafted contract. The agreement between the parties should clearly establish the amount of work needed to be done, the time frame for completion, the quality of materials and craftsmanship to be provided, and the method and schedule of payment. Unfortunately, a lot of contracts are shady and poorly written, which leads to complex legal disputes.
However, the fastest way to end this kind of dispute is through negotiation by both parties. Mediation is also a very effective strategy in this case. The contractor is required to work with an attorney that understands the nature and context of the dispute. The attorney will advise you on how to help both parties understand the problem, resolve the stated dispute, and proceed with working on the project.
Disputes Between Commercial Property Owners And General Contractors
Unlike residential construction disputes, commercial construction projects are usually governed by more substantive contracts and agreements. The attorneys for each party should work diligently to ensure that the project agreement thoroughly captures the nature of the work to be accomplished and all details of the project, including payment schedules, liability coverage and exposures, time frames for completion of each phase, and construction liens.
Although negotiation is still an effective legal option to resolve any dispute, the underlying contracts should specify the process for resolving disagreements between the parties. This method could be either by mediation or arbitration. And the settlement of any dispute between a commercial property owner and a contractor should clearly address issues such as the removal of any liens, the resolution of any associated contingent liabilities or damages, and offsets and payments.
Disputes Between Contractors On A Job Site
A well-versed construction dispute attorney must have the perspective to understand the nature of a job site and the complex relationships between the contractors. For example, if a dispute arises between a general contractor and a sub-contractor, it is important to understand the nature of the ongoing business relationship between the parties. And not only the specific facts of the dispute.
A dispute on any project can affect other projects and the relationship in general. This is why it is important for the attorney to have a clear understanding of these factors and should set out goals and objectives for the resolution of the dispute itself.