Salinas Construction Dispute Lawyers

Salinas Construction Dispute Lawyers, CA

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Construction Dispute Law in California

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

Most often, the owners of land and contractors can end disagreements before they get too serious, thus eliminating the need for litigation. Most contracts governing construction projects have built-in remedies for the most common problems, typically requiring the party that causes a delay or other problem to pay the other party a set fee.

Even if the parties can't easily resolve their disputes, and someone else needs to intervene, that somebody doesn't always need to be a judge or jury. Many construction disagreements call for mediation, during which a neutral third party helps the parties to the dispute negotiate a settlement. They might also go through arbitration, during which a third party renders a binding decision.

Litigating a construction dispute in Salinas, California is definitely not something that anybody likes doing. Nonetheless, it is sometimes necessary, as a last resort.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Salinas, California

Delays: Some minor delays in a construction project are all but guaranteed to occur. Typically, if contracts require a specific completion date, the contractor will give itself longer than the project would take under ideal circumstances, to account for possible delays. Moreover, construction contracts usually attempt to insure against delays, such as imposing fees on contractors if the project is delayed beyond a certain point. If no such clause is included in a contract, a court will usually award the client damages that could have been reasonably anticipated at the time the contract was entered into.

Owner's refusal to pay: Contractors can also be the victims in construction disagreements. Sometimes, the person who hired them will refuse to pay the agreed-upon fee, or withhold a portion of it. This, without more, certainly constitutes breach of contract. However, in such cases, the owner will rarely go to court and say "I just didn't feel like paying, so I didn't." Alternatively, they will claim that they had a very good reason to withhold all or part of the payment, such as unsatisfactory work by the contractor. In these situations, the court has to determine if the owner has a valid reason for not paying. If it concludes that he or she does not, it will order the owner to pay the agreed-upon price.

Subcontractors: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, typically specialized tasks like installing plumbing. Nonetheless, no matter how much of the work is performed by subcontractors, the general contractor (the one that the client actually hired to do the project) is liable to the landowner as if it were doing all the work itself. This essentially means that, if a subcontractor messes up, the general contractor is the one who gets sued. But all is not lost in such a situation. If the general contractor has to compensate the owner because of the mistakes of a subcontractor, it can sue the subcontractor for whatever it had to pay to the landowner.

Mechanic's Lien: If the contractor wins in a case against the land owner, and the court orders the owner to pay the contractor for services rendered, the contractor needs a way to secure payment, if the owner refuses. In some cases, a mechanic's lien permits the contractor to force the sale of the land, and any improvements to it, in order to secure payment for the services it provided.

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Can a Salinas, California Attorney Help?

Construction disputes can be time-consuming and costly. Hiring a reliable Salinas, California real estate attorney can make it much easier to deal with such disputes, and help you avoid litigation, or prevail if litigation becomes necessary.

116 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Salinas

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Life in Salinas

Salinas, California is a city in Monterey County. It is the county seat of that county, as well as its largest city. It has a population of over 150,000 people.

Salinas has a long and interesting history. It was first settled by humans as early as the year 200 AD, nearly 2,000 years ago. In the 1700s, Spanish Catholic missionaries settled the area, and Salinas soon became known as a major agricultural center, owing to its fertile soil and abundance of open space. When California became part of the United States in the mid-1800s, settlement by Americans from other parts of the country skyrocketed. 

Modernly, the economy of Salinas, California is heavily based on agriculture. Several large agribusiness firms are major employers in Salinas, CA. Unlike many American cities its size, the workforce of Salinas is still largely blue collar, with most of those workers employed in agriculture. Because the agriculture business is sometimes known for strained relations between workers and management, a large number of labor and employment lawyers from Salinas, CA have set up shop, representing both employers and employees. There are also many lawyers in Salinas who practice other areas of law. Many lawyers are drawn to Salinas, CA because of its quiet atmosphere and pleasant climate.

Needless to say, whatever legal issue you may be facing, there's probably a Salinas, California lawyer who can help you with it.  

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