When you hire a contractor for a project, you pay that contractor to build or fix something to your preferences. When the contractor fails to meet the obligations of the contract, you may have a legal claim against the contractor.
There are a number of different types of legal claims available against contractors. These include:
In situations where construction defects exist, most states require that the homeowner give the contractor the opportunity to fix the defects before filing a lawsuit.
Most contracts will specify some type of warranty that will guarantee a specific level of quality of the work. The warranty could describe the standard under which the building is to be built, such as built for sale to the public, or that the contractor will use reasonable workmanship to construct the premises.
When you and a contractor agree to certain terms in a contract, and the contractor does not follow those terms, the contractor has breached the contract.
Most states will deduct damages owed to you based on substantial performance. Thus instead of receiving the full contract price refunded to you, you will receive the contract price minus a deduction for the decreased market value of the property. If the contractor has not begun building the property yet, then substantial performance does not apply.
Fraud covers false and intentional misrepresentations made by a contractor to you regarding the project. A common misrepresentation is when a project developer markets a home as being made with quality materials and quality construction, but this turns out to be a lie when the homeowner finds that the home was built on top of a sinkhole.
A lawsuit against a contractor will require in-depth knowledge of contracts law and technical knowledge regarding construction. A real estate lawyer can help you navigate the case filing process, investigate any possible claims, and negotiate and advocate on your behalf.
Last Modified: 03-28-2017 01:30 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.