Dealing with Contractors: Structure the Deal
The truth about construction projects is that too often, many result in some type of litigation. The party with the strongest position within the contract at the beginning of the project will have a distinct advantage in disputes later on.
California real estate investors work with contractors on everything from initial development to repair, remodeling or add-on work to tenant improvements. The earlier you get your lawyer involved, the better.
“Over the years, I have found that real estate investors don’t realize that most contractor forms are one-sided and protect the contractor, not the owner. Getting a lawyer involved right away can avoid litigation later on.” — Attorney Jeffrey H. Lerman
From the moment you put a project out to bid, important decisions need to be made including:
- Scope of work
- Contract form to be used
- Method of pricing the project (lump-sum, cost-plus or cost-plus with a guaranteed maximum)
- Extent of the drawings and specifications (contracts with complete drawing and specifications, design-build contracts or combinations)
Once these initial decisions are made, there are many important issues that must be addressed, including a detailed description of the work, progress payments, retention, substantial completion, delay damages, change orders, allowances, insurance, guaranty, indemnity and the right to stop work. Contract negotiations should mirror the scope of the project, and a lawyer with experience in real estate investment law can help create a strong contract.
Start your project off with a solid foundation. When an investor is ready to build, the attorneys at Lerman Law Partners are ready to structure a contract with your contractor that can help you avoid litigation later on.
Count on the law firm devoted to real estate investors. Contact us today. We have offices in San Rafael and San Francisco.