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North Carolina General Legal Blog

Resolving a dispute with a subcontractor

Disputes arise over construction projects for many different reasons and our blog has delved into this topic carefully. However, those who run a construction business encounter all sorts of other issues, such as disputes with subcontractors. As with other construction disputes, a disagreement with a subcontractor may surface for all sorts of reasons. For example, the scope of work is a common cause of disagreement. In some instances, a subcontractor may bid for a portion of a project, while a contractor was under the impression that a larger portion of the project was included in the bid.

Another common reason why contractors and subcontractors become involved in disputes involves payments. For example, a subcontractor may claim that they were not paid properly (or at all), even though payments were made in full. If you have found yourself in a dispute with a subcontractor, it is pivotal to approach this issue cautiously. From your reputation to financial consequences associated with an unsuccessful outcome in court, your life and business may be adversely impacted by these disputes in various ways.

Who pays for that construction delay?

That question may be what makes this topic one of the most common sources of disputes in the construction industry. You would think that, since these disputes are so common, they would be easy to navigate. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.

The confusion and misunderstandings surrounding construction delays may be why who pays for them when they occur becomes such a point of contention. No one wants someone telling them they have to shell out more money for something for which they don't feel responsible, which is usually at the core of these disputes.

Renter's rights when repairs are needed

People who rent their home, townhome, condo or apartment dwelling in North Carolina know that they are not amassing equity in a residence or property but they do get to enjoy a level of freedom when it comes to having primary responsibility for maintaining a property. For some, the ability to make a quick phone call and have a problem fixed without receiving a bill is more than enough benefit to warrant renting versus buying.

There may be times when it is hard to know when a renter or a landlord is supposed to take care of a particular issue. As explained by SF Gate, one of the ways people can identify this is to look at what may have necessitated the repair. For example, if a tenant was moving a piece of furniture and in the process of doing so banged into the wall enough to make a hole, that may not likely be something that a landlord would be responsible for.

What characteristics should you look for in a good tenant?

You have recently invested in a rental property with plans to accumulate more in North Carolina. Your next step is finding tenants to live in the property so you can enjoy the financial profits. Doing your research and holding your renters to a high standard will help guarantee that your property remains in livable conditions. However, if you do not put any guidelines in place, you could be left to foot the bill when costly repairs and consequences need to be taken care of. 

As you begin your search, it is critical that you pay close attention to some key characteristics while screening potential tenants. According to The Landlord Protection Agency, some of the things you should be looking for include the following:

  • Credit score: Does the person you are looking at have a consistently good credit score? Does it reflect his or her ability to pay debts in a timely manner?
  • Respect: Does the tenant demonstrate respect? You can begin to assess this by observing his or her language, communication and timeliness. 
  • Honesty: Is the tenant honest? Does he or she seem to be forthright and prompt when answering your questions?
  • Cleanliness: Does the tenant seem like someone that is clean and well kept? If he or she has pets, do you have some type of agreement in place for pet-related damages?
  • Ability to pay: Does the person you are considering have a stable job that will allow him or her to make payments on time each month?

What are the different types of construction contracts?

If you're involved in the construction industry in North Carolina, you're likely aware that construction contracts are an essential element of the process. Because these documents are so important, it's important for contractors to know the different types of contracts and what protections they can offer. TheBalance.com offers insight in a few common construction contracts, and why they're beneficial.

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What damages can you seek in a breach of contract lawsuit?

A company has breached the contract between it and your North Carolina company, and it cost you. In fact, your bottom line has taken such a hit, you may be wondering whether your business will even recover. According to FindLaw, you may be able to recover your financial losses through a breach of contract lawsuit.

There are certain types of damages that a court may award to compensate you for your losses.

What are my duties as a tenant?

You found the perfect two-bedroom, two-bath house in a great North Carolina suburban neighborhood, and it even has a plot in the backyard for a garden. You hit it off with the landlord and feel confident signing the initial one-year lease agreement. Whether this is the first time you have ever rented a place of your own or it is the tenth house you have leased, here are some important tips to keep in mind when you move in.

You, of course, expect that the landlord has some responsibilities for maintaining the premises, but you have some duties, too. The Attorney General of North Carolina explains what the law requires of you "in order to enforce the landlord's duties." 

Contractual privileges given to government agencies

Securing a contract with a government partner is a big get for any company. Such organizations tend to be reliable, and your company's association with them will no doubt boost its reputation. Yet as many of the clients that we here at the Triangle Law Group have worked with in the past can attest to, there are certain risks that come with working with government agencies. One of these is the potential that they could walk away from your agreement for almost any reason (including those that you may feel are not justified). 

The concept of "termination for convenience" has been detailed on this blog before, but only by saying that it is an option when such a right is granted by a contract. However, this only applies to private organizations. Per the Congressional Research Service, government entities are afforded the right to terminate a contract for convenience automatically. This means that any such entity can walk away from your partnership for reasons like those detailed below: 

  • It no longer needs the goods or services you offer (or it can now provide them itself)
  • It now believes the cost for your goods or services to be too high
  • It has asked you to renegotiate the terms of your contract, yet you have refused

What are the duties of the tenant in North Carolina?

While a landlord in North Carolina has an obligation to maintain a property to ensure safety and proper function, your tenant has responsibilities, too. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, in addition to paying rent as outlined in the lease, your tenant is also expected to provide the basic maintenance that comes along with living there in order to enforce your obligations.

The tenant must keep the area that he or she uses safe and clean and cannot create unsanitary or hazardous conditions on the residential part of the property or in any of the common areas. This includes disposing of all waste safely and in a timely fashion.

Did you pay top dollar for inferior construction materials?

You can hire the best architect, the best general contractor and the best construction workers in the Raleigh area, but it may mean nothing if the materials used are inferior, counterfeit or substandard. Perhaps the word counterfeit caught your attention. People counterfeit money and designer goods, not construction materials. Right?

Unfortunately, it does happen. Overseas factories use weak manufacturing standards and low-grade steel to make passable metal construction components that others fraudulently pass off as the original products. The cost of these fake parts is obviously lower than the original, superior products, which means that sellers can undercut those selling the genuine articles.

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