Rockville Attorney Handles Contractor Disputes Throughout Maryland
Firm provides determined representation for consumers when a project goes wrong
If you’re a homeowner, you know the importance of periodic maintenance to protect your investment, and an occasional remodel to enhance your enjoyment. But the last thing you want from a home improvement is a hassle with your contractor. The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC in Rockville understands. We’re ready to help resolve conflicts over building and repair issues whenever they arise. Our firm offers knowledgeable counsel so you can protect the investment you’ve already made and hold businesses accountable for costly mistakes whether made by a general contractor, subcontractor, carpenter, plumber, electrician, material supplier or someone else engaged in the construction trade.
Common disputes with home improvement contractors
Our law firm advocates on behalf of property owners in a wide range of contractor disputes including those stemming from:
- Non-payment — There are often legitimate reasons to withhold payment, such as a defect in the construction. Contractors sometimes act aggressively in payment disputes by seeking debt judgments and mechanics’ liens even if legitimate disagreements exist. We try to settle such disputes before they escalate, pursuing timely solutions that save our clients time, money and grief.
- Breach of contract — If a contractor fails to perform, the consumer is entitled to a remedy, such as cancellation of their obligations under the contract or restitution for the damage that was done. Individual and business clients might also pursue direct, consequential and/or liquidated damages in accordance with the contract. Our firm acts quickly to mitigate the harm done by alleged breaches and reach a prompt fair resolution that upholds our clients’ rights.
- Construction defects — In Maryland and Washington, D.C., the contractor does not have the automatic right to fix a problem claimed by the property owner, so the consumer can either demand corrections or sue. Consumers contemplating legal action arising from a construction defect must be aware of the statute of limitations (three years in both jurisdictions), which limits the time in which a plaintiff can file suit after identifying the problem. There are also statutes of repose that prohibit litigation after a certain amount of time (20 years in Maryland, 10 years and Washington, D.C.) regardless of when a defect was discovered.
- Fraud and misrepresentation — Contractors making false statements to induce consumers to sign contracts can be held liable for the harm caused by their deception.
Although it’s impossible to state generally how long a construction dispute can last, consumers who retain attorneys send a strong signal that they intend to enforce their rights, which might lead to a quicker settlement.
How to avoid contractor disputes
When it comes to hiring a contractor, a bit of forethought can go a long way. If you want to minimize the potential for a conflict over the work, you should choose a highly rated company and be very specific about your expectations. Make sure that your specifications are memorialized in the agreement and don’t just sign a boilerplate contract. Before you sign anything, talk to a home improvement attorney and let him review the contract. Your attorney can comb through the fine print to alert you to any surprises.
The key element in a dispute with a contractor is the contract itself. So, before signing any agreement, make sure an attorney explains exactly what you’re entitled to. If a dispute arises, you won’t be asking a court to enforce your impressions or expectations. For maximum protection, everything you bargained for must be spelled out within the four corners of the contract.
Contact a concerned Rockville attorney for your contractor dispute
The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC in Rockville represents consumers and businesses in construction disputes throughout Maryland and in Washington, D.C. To schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options, call 301-760-7460 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located at 17 West Jefferson Street, just off I-275.