It is a sadly common scenario. Homeowners wish to remodel their homes or fix a broken defect, so they hire a contractor or subcontractor to perform the work. Remodeling takes a considerable amount of time and financial resources. As such, the homeowners must take out a loan to help pay the bill. However, during the course of construction and remodeling, the contractor or subcontractor mismanages the work. They may spend the funds but fail to buy the necessary materials or hire the right crew. They may even leave the job unfinished or fail to pay their own subcontractors. When this occurs, homeowners are often left financially responsible and facing an uphill battle. What can they do? Is there any way to hold negligent and irresponsible contractors accountable?
Fortunately, Texas civil laws allow for homeowners to sue a contractor or developer for breach of contract. Breach of contract is a form of civil litigation. When you hire a contractor, you enter into a contract with that contractor. They promise to complete the job in a timely manner and you agree to pay the costs associated with that job. This contract typically lays out the specifics of the job in detail, including the materials required and the design and scope of the project. Both parties are contractually obligated to uphold their end of the agreement. If one party fails to uphold their end of the contract, the wronged party can file a civil lawsuit.
Breach of Contract in Construction Disputes
A breach of contract in construction disputes can occur in many ways. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to: Using inferior materials, Not performing the job in accordance with codes and regulations, Failing to pay subcontractors, Failing to complete the job outlined, Not following the agreed-upon design or floor plan, Violating safety standards, Overcharges for work completed or not completed, Defective workmanship, Unreasonable delays, Project abandonment, Removal of an invalid Mechanic’s Lien and/or Failing to honor an express warranty.
Breach of contract claims allow homeowners to recover damages they suffered. This may include refund of payments or the refund of the difference in costs for hiring a new contractor. It may also include any other damages the homeowners suffered.
As the plaintiff, you bear the burden of providing evidence of the agreement to perform the services. This includes the contract, as well as evidence that the job was not performed or completed in accordance with the contract. This can be a difficult task and one that requires compiling substantial proof that would hold up in a court of law. For this reason alone, it is important to have an experienced civil litigation attorney on your side through the process.
Other Possible Course of Legal Action
Besides filing a lawsuit for breach of contract, homeowners may have other courses of legal action. Some of those include filing a civil suit for fraud, deceit, or for violating the Consumer Protection Act. Each one of these options has potential benefits and drawbacks. As such, it is important to discuss your options with an experienced civil litigation attorney before deciding to proceed.
Texas Homeowners Have Rights
When attempting to settle a construction dispute or breach of contract issue, it is important to fully understand your rights as a homeowner. As a homeowner, your responsibilities will be spelled out in the construction contract. Upholding your end of the agreement is imperative. When a construction project becomes delayed or fails, you will need to refer to this contract for guidance.
If the contractor failed in their duties as outlined in your contract, then they would be held liable to pay the additional costs for completing the job on time, as well as additional compensation in many cases. If you are uncertain if your contractor has a business entity or is simply a handyman, you can search the Texas Secretary of State website. Your lawyer can help you identify the responsible party and help you file a claim.
Call Our Houston Civil Litigation Lawyers
Filing a lawsuit against a contractor is difficult and complex. Without an attorney on your side, your case may not be successful. This can leave you and your family in financial strains. Contact Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C. if you believe your contractor has violated your construction contract. We can review your case and help you examine all of your legal options. You must act quickly, however. In the state of Texas, homeowners only have four years to file a breach of contract claim against a construction party. To avoid missing this critical deadline, call our law firm immediately at 713-981-0600 or fill out our confidential contact form. We are here to help!