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What are some types of construction disputes?

Construction disputes usually arise during the building process or after the work is completed. Suddenly, contractors and property owners realize they have not been on the same page during the entire project after all, and this can cause some serious legal and financial issues for both parties.

One top reason for construction disputes occurs because there were omissions of some kind in the contract. Omissions can occur as an oversight when both parties neglect to ensure some detail or point is property covered. They might also occur on purpose when one party doesn't include an item in a contract as discussed and hopes the other party doesn't notice. Sometimes, omissions are simply a matter of inappropriate assumptions -- one or more parties assumes something to be the case and does not require it be spelled out in a contract.

Sometimes, a person under the supervision of a contractor fails to comply with agreements set forth in a contract. Employees or subcontractors may not understand what their duties are under a contract or may act outside of the contract despite an understanding. Often, this occurs without the contractor's immediate knowledge and results in disputes when issues are later discovered.

Other reasons for disputes include failure of a contractor to deliver work on time, on budget, or up to expectations and the fact that a property owner might claim property is in a certain condition when negotiating price, but when work starts, the contractor realizes property is in a different condition. No matter which side of the contract you are on, it's critical to draft tightly clad contracts to avoid some of these issues. Working with someone experienced in construction law can help you do so.

Source: National Real Estate Investor, "5 Most Common Causes of Construction Disputes," Elaine Misonzhnik, accessed Oct. 23, 2015

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