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Construction disputes: Settling builder and homeowners disputes

When it comes to home repairs and renovations in the Fort Lauderdale area, one thing homeowners should do before hiring contractors is to screen them and their contracts carefully. In the construction industry, a poorly written contract can cause a multitude of issues when it is time to enforce it. Often, contracts are the only thing that keeps builders from taking advantage of homeowners. 

Keep in mind that builders rely on contractors, vendors, sub-contractors and other parties to complete their projects. All parties involved have contracts to lay out the details of what is expected of them, delivery terms and payment schedules. Disputes can still arise when there are issues enforcing contracts. Here are a few alternative resolutions homeowners should consider on construction disputes

3 essential legal tips for small business owners

Every business will experience legal complications at one point or another. Even if you have the most successful company in the world, it may seriously struggle if you have poor legal arrangements. You must tackle legal issues head-on to prevent costly problems from arising and resolve them as soon as they do.

The well-being of your enterprise depends on you devoting a significant amount of time to avoiding legal pitfalls. Here are some of the best tips for reducing legal troubles:

Understanding Florida’s construction lien law

If you are a Florida contractor, you know that sometimes you encounter difficulties when attempting to get paid for the work you complete for homeowners. When the remodeling, renovation or home improvement work you agreed to perform cost over $2,500, you are entitled to file a lien against the homeowner’s property if (s)he does not pay you the full amount of your bill. There are, however, stringent rules and procedures with which you must comply in order to file and enforce your lien.

It goes without saying that you should never perform any work unless you have a written contract with the homeowner setting forth the following things:

  • Your name, the homeowner’s name and the address of the property
  • Exactly what work you will perform
  • Your best estimate of the total cost of your work
  • How and when the homeowner will pay you; i.e., down payment, partial payments as the work proceeds, full payment on work completion, or whatever terms you negotiate with the homeowner

Are you violating Fort Lauderdale municipal codes?

Municipal codes, the rules and regulations that a city sets up and enforces, may not always be clear to everyone who lives there. In Fort Lauderdale, for example, there are various types of municipal codes that could lead to citations for home and business owners who violate them.

It is important to inform yourself about the municipal codes that may affect your home or business so that you do not risk a citation. If the city has already issued you a citation, understanding why can be the first step to resolving the issue. Another essential tool that can help you in the process of navigating a municipal code violation is an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.

3 tips for creating strong business contracts

Starting a new business is an exciting adventure with plenty of opportunities for growth and success. However, there are certainly challenges and pitfalls for which you need to prepare. If you want to weather the storms and come out on top, you will need to anticipate problems, sort out the details and make clearly written business agreements

You might be tempted to rely on a verbal agreement or boilerplate contracts. Despite the potential savings up front, these approaches often end in expensive legal problems later. Keep reading for advice on writing solid business contracts to avoid disputes and lawsuits.

When contracts include arbitration clauses

In Florida, many construction contracts include provisions obligating the parties to resolve any disputes via arbitration rather than in court. The arbitration process offers several pros and cons depending on the situation.

Parties who want to litigate their contract issues in court rather than resorting to arbitration may be able to challenge a contract's arbitration clause. As with any contract issue, consult your lawyer about whether it makes sense to attempt to get out of an arbitration provision.

Is there any way to get out of a business contract?

You signed a contract with another business to deliver a service. Then, things change, creating a situation where it is extremely difficult for you to continue providing the service. You want out of the contract.

Many business owners end up facing this complicated problem. Of course, the best way to resolve this is to negotiate with the other party and try to get them to agree to let you go. When this fails, you may still have some valid legal options available to you.

Different types of breach of contract

The purpose of a contract is to outline each party's duties and hold each party responsible for fulfilling them. However, this doesn't always happen for various reasons. When this occurs, it's called a breach of contract. There are different types of breaches, and each determines the legal action you can take and compensation you can receive, so it's important to know which kind of breach you have experienced.

Questions? Contact Michael Garcia, P.A., For Answers

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