Tucson Construction Dispute Lawyers
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 Tucson, 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 disagreements 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 avenue 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 benefits 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 Tucson, Arizona construction dispute is never something that anyone wants to do. Nonetheless, there are sometimes no other avenues.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Tucson, 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 finishes a project to specifications, and the owner of the property doesn't pay the contractor, the contractor will most likely file a lawsuit to recover the agreed-upon price. In such cases, the owner will usually argue that the contractor's work wasn't of acceptable quality. In these cases, the court must decide who first breached the contract. In these cases, it's the party who did not breach first who wins the lawsuit. If the court finds that the contractor breached the contract through sub-quality work product, the owner will not be liable for payment (though he may have to pay for materials and labor), and if the court finds that the construction was acceptable, the owner has to pay, because he is the party in breach.
Subcontractors: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, usually 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 allows 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 Tucson, Arizona Attorney Help?
Construction disputes and disagreements can be very difficult to deal with alone. The assistance of a Tucson, Arizona real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.
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Construction Dispute Attorneys in the Largest AZ Cities
Life in TucsonTucson is a major city in Arizona and the county seat of Pima County. With a population of about 548,000, it is the second largest city in Arizona after Phoenix. Tucson is just over 100 miles from Phoenix and about an hour away from the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Often called "The Old Pueblo", Tucson is an attractive mix of traditional southwestern culture and modern innovations. The downtown area of Tucson has retained much of its historic southwest feel. Several downtown buildings such as the Hotel Congress and the Art Deco Fox Theater were constructed in the 1920's. Midtown Tucson also draws many visitors to the city. For example, the University of Arizona is located in midtown, which includes Arizona Stadium as well as the McKale Center.
The tourism industry fuels much of Tucson's economy, with some 3.5 million visitors bringing in over $2 billion a year. Tucson's warm climate attracts many "snowbirds", or winter visitors who often purchase a second home in the city. Popular events for tourists include the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show and the Tucson Folk Festival.
Lawyers in Tucson, Arizona handle most of their cases at the Tucson City Court. Tucson lawyers are available to help you understand the many laws that are unique to the state of Arizona.