Tempe Construction Dispute Lawyers

Tempe Construction Dispute Lawyers, AZ

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Construction Dispute Law in Arizona

When a property owner and a general contractor contract for a construction project to take place on some property in Tempe, Arizona, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. In fact, at least a very minor setback may be more likely than not.

Most often, landowners and construction contractors are able to resolve minor to moderate disputes between themselves, and litigation is rarely necessary. Nobody likes litigation, so, to this end, most construction contracts have built-in remedies in case something goes wrong, like set price reductions if construction is delayed.

And even if disputes can't be resolved so easily, the courts still don't necessarily have to get involved. For example, a construction contract may require mediation before any further action is taken. Mediation is a process by which a third party tries to guide the parties to the dispute to a settlement. The mediator cannot, however, render any binding decision. Another option is arbitration. This is where the parties go to a private arbitration service, which can render a binding judgment (generally enforceable through contract law, as the parties agree in advance to abide by the arbitrator's decision). Arbitration has advantages over litigation, as the parties can have a say in choosing the arbitrator (allowing them to have their case arbitrated by an expert on construction disputes, for example).

Litigation of a Tempe, Arizona construction dispute is never something that anyone wants to do. Nonetheless, there are sometimes no other options.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Tempe, Arizona

Construction Delays: Delays in construction are common sticking points between contractors and landowners. These delays can sometimes lead to litigation, especially if the construction contract makes it clear that time is an important factor, or if the contract mandates a certain completion date. In such situations, a court will often award the landowner compensation for any monetary losses he or she suffered as a result of the delay.

Owner's Refusal to Pay: If the contractor completes the project, and the owner refuses to pay the agreed-upon price, the contractor will usually file a lawsuit to recover what is owed. Of course, the owner will usually claim that there is a good reason for not paying, arguing that the contractor didn't conform to the project's specifications, or that the quality of construction was unacceptably poor. In such a case, the court will have to determine if the contractor actually breached the contract by doing shoddy work, which could, at least in part, excuse the owner's duty to pay.

Subcontractor Disputes: When a construction company is contracted to complete a large project, there is usually a great deal of specialized work to be done which they aren't equipped to handle. As a result, they hire other contractors, who, in this arrangement, are subcontractors, to do some of the work. However, the general contractor (the one that the landowner hired to do the work) is still responsible for the completion of the project - if a subcontractor causes a problem, the general contractor is on the hook for it. This sometimes leads to landowners suing general contractors for the mistakes of subcontractors. If the general contractor loses, and has to pay the client, the general contractor can then sue the subcontractor for whatever amount of money it had to pay.

Mechanic's Liens: Sometimes, when a contractor wins in a lawsuit against the landowner who hired him or her, and obtains a court order for payment, the contractor will still refuse to pay. Since a money judgment isn't worth much without a way to enforce it, the laws of many states have evolved to allow what's known as a "mechanic's lien." As a last resort, if a landowner refuses to pay the contractor for work done on the property, the contractor can force a sale of the property, and keep the proceeds, up to the amount of money owed.

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Can a Tempe, Arizona Attorney Help?

If you have a construction dispute, you should first try to resolve it amicably with the other party. If this fails, it is almost always essential to hire a Tempe, Arizona construction disputes attorney, who can advise you on the next steps in the process.

273 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Tempe

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Life in Tempe

Tempe is located in Maricopa County in Arizona.  It has a population of about 175,000 and was incorporated in the year 1894.  Its name comes from the "Vale of Tempe" located in Greece.  Tempe is known for being the headquarters for several prominent corporations.

The economy of Tempe is comprised mainly of large corporations which have their headquarters in the city.  For example, companies such as U.S. Airways and Insight Enterprises have their executive headquarters in Tempe.  Cold Stone Creamery, a popular ice cream franchise, was originally located in the city.  In addition, Tempe is home to Arizona State University at Tempe, where the Insight Bowl is held every year.

Residents of Tempe enjoy great performance in the arts at the Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Center for the Arts.  Also, visitors frequently enjoy shopping in Tempe's retail district, located at Mills Avenue and at Arizona Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the state.  The Tempe Marketplace is where you can go for excellent outdoor festivals and concerts.

Lawyers in Tempe, Arizona typically file legal claims at the Tempe Municipal Court.  The municipal court handles a wide range of legal issues and ordinance violations.  Tempe lawyers also participate in a variety of exciting civic and community service events. 

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