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North Carolina General Legal Blog

How can subcontractors protect themselves from delay litigation?

Everyone involved in a construction project in North Carolina must work on a tightly coordinated timetable. Delays happen, though, and as a subcontractor, you could be the one paying the price. According to Construction Executive, you do have ways to shield yourself from any potential consequences of schedule changes and delays.

Your contract should include a no-damage-for-delay clause. These terms are standard, and typically address your recovery options for any delays that the owner or the prime contractor cause. The terms may stipulate that you may seek an extension on deadlines, but the language could also state that you would not be paid for damages caused by delays.

A sure-fire estate plan for a complicated family

One of the most important benefits of creating an estate plan is to ensure your final wishes are clear and respected by law. You have likely put a lot of time into considering the elements of your plan. However, perhaps you can't avoid the painful truth that no matter how fair you try to be, some of your potential heirs are likely to raise a fuss, perhaps even dragging your estate through a contentious probate dispute.

If you have a complex estate, substantial assets or heirs that you expect will express dissatisfaction with the contents of your will, you may wish to take steps to protect your plans against challenges. There are some safeguards you can put into place to improve the chances that probate will go smoothly and your representatives will carry out your wishes.

When is my landlord allowed to keep my security deposit?

If you are a renter in Raleigh, you likely had to hand over a security deposit to your landlord at the time you signed your lease. When you move out, that amount may be returned to you. However, in some situations the landlord may be entitled to keep some or all of it. While every lease is different, here are some common situations where a landlord may not have to return your security deposit.

Depending on the terms of your lease, return of your security deposit may be dependent on the condition of the property at the time you move out, according to the Balance. While landlords expect that some minor cleaning and repairs may need to be done, if they have to undertake big projects such as hiring a cleaning crew or replacing a stained carpet, the cost may come out of your security deposit.

Back rent and other problems with tenants

For landlords, there are a plethora of ways that tenants can become difficult. Triangle Law Group knows firsthand how stressful and even infuriating this can be for landlords in Raleigh, and in cities all across the state of North Carolina. Even though these situations can be very challenging, it is pivotal for landlords to do their best to work through the situation with a level head and a solid understanding of their legal rights. If your tenant has become difficult, or is violating the terms of your rental contract, you should not feel like you have no choice but to allow them to step on your toes.

Sometimes, tenants may refuse to pay rent. In certain cases, they may be unable to because of financial problems, while others simply do not care. As a landlord, you should not have to struggle with a tenant who refuses to pay rent and it is essential to review your options. However, there are all sorts of other reasons why you may find yourself in a dispute with tenants. For example, they may destroy your property or refuse to abide by other terms found in the agreement.

Scope of work and change orders in construction contracts

As contractor bidding on a construction project in North Carolina, you may expect many parties to be involved if you win the bid, including the owner, design team and subcontractors. Identifying exactly what each is responsible for allows you to avoid liability when someone else is at fault. This is where the construction contract comes in, and we at Triangle Law Group are skilled at negotiating these documents so that terms and clauses do not damage a client’s reputation and bottom line.

According to the American Bar Association, it is the scope or statement of work that will define the duties that you will perform as contractor. If you do not study the owner’s drawings and other design documents carefully, and later you discover that key areas for your performance are vague, it could lead to serious contract disputes. As a result, you may end up responsible for correcting the disparities to the detriment of your profits.

What is NC’s lead-based paint Preventative Maintenance Program?

Living in a North Carolina rental home, you have limited options regarding maintenance and renovations. However, when it comes to paint, you have more than condition and color to consider. If your home was built before 1978, lead could be an issue.

According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, North Carolina has a lead law known as the Childhood Lead Exposure Control Act. Through this legislation, state law makers created a Preventative Maintenance Program that provides standards for controlling lead exposure. The program is voluntary, but if your landlord participates in it, he or she may not be liable if you sue because of lead poisoning.

Looking at some of the basics of mechanic's liens, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the role mechanic's liens can play in allowing contractors to secure payment for work performed on real property under a valid contract with the owner of real property. The most important issue for any contractor or subcontractor who remains unpaid for work performed on a property is the relief available to them when the lien is enforced.

A valid lien, when enforced, allows the lienholder to secure payment for all debts owed in connection with the work completed on the property. This includes not only the principle amount owed for the work but also interest, provided interest obligations are specified in a written contract. Certain types of damages are not awarded to lienholders, such as lost profits and other damages resulting from the failure to pay for the work performed. Neither are attorneys' fees awarded on mechanic's liens. 

Looking at some of the basics of mechanic's liens, P.1

Mechanic's liens are an important tool for contractors providing services to property owners. Construction projects can get messy when parties end up disagreeing on their mutual obligations, and the ability to file a mechanic's lien ensures contractors and subcontractors are able to secure payment for services when the property owner refuses to cooperate.

By the same token, property owners need to understand their rights when they are served with a mechanic's lien. Because construction projects can become complicated, owners need to make sure they work with an experienced attorney so that they aren't unfairly targeted by an ill-founded lien. 

Signature vs. handshake: The importance of a contract

As your business grows, you are probably dealing with more entities each year. In addition to customers, you have new suppliers, vendors and subcontractors who depend on you to deliver your services in a timely manner. Maybe one of your goals as a business owner was to maintain a casual, approachable image, and you have managed this by keeping your word and accepting the word of others.

Now, however, you may be wondering if that method of doing business is practical anymore. While a handshake may have worked to seal your agreements in the past, you may suspect that you need more protection as you move toward larger ventures.

Two different ways to structure energy contracts, and the importance of experienced legal counsel

Last time, we began looking at a state bill that would rework the regulatory scheme governing the bidding and negotiation of renewable energy projects. As we noted, the bill would put Duke Energy in charge of the bidding process for these projects, which is a cause of concern to private energy developers, who have been increasingly shut out by the utility.

Contract negotiation is an important aspect of doing business in any industry, including the energy industry. Generally speaking, energy contracts are of two different types: fixed procurement and flexible procurement. Fixed procurement contracts are those in which energy companies agree on a price for gas or electricity, and fix that price for the duration of the contract. Usually, the contract length is one to three years, but this can vary. 

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