Business Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio
Construction businesses must operate within a complex set of laws and regulations when operating in the state of Ohio. From the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services to helping general contractors and subcontractors with template contracts, our construction lawyers work with companies to help minimize exposure to unforeseen debt and liabilities and to assist with the procedural aspects of construction projects. Our construction attorneys assist engineers, architects, builders, real estate developers, and construction firms with a range of construction issues.
Our Columbus construction attorney has drafted a number of construction-related contracts. Construction companies that do work for residential properties should be acutely aware of consumer protection laws regarding residential construction. Residential construction projects often fall under Ohio’s home solicitation sales act; an extremely strict consumer protection law that, among other things, requires the contractor to provide the homeowner with a written contract containing certain mandated provisions. A prime example of this is having language informing the homeowner that they have a right to cancel the transaction within three business days of signing the contract. A contractor’s failure to provide a compliant contract to the homeowner may allow the homeowner to cancel the contract even after the work has been performed or may allow the homeowner to sue the contractor for treble damages and attorney fees.
Contracts for the construction of a residential home are also heavily regulated by state law. Home construction contracts that exceed twenty-five thousand dollars also must be written and contain very specific terms, such as the anticipated completion date and the total estimated cost of the construction. A home construction contract must also contain language stating that the owner is entitled to a written estimate when any additional costs will exceed five-thousand dollars. Because of heavy consumer protections in residential contracts, a competent construction law attorney in Columbus, Ohio should be consulted with to ensure your business remains in compliance.
All construction businesses must also be aware of mechanics’ liens and how they work. Mechanics’ liens are governed by a complex set of statutes that are often overlooked and misunderstood. Depending on the nature of the job, certain actions must be taken both before and after completion of a project to preserve your company’s right to a mechanics’ lien. The mechanics’ lien must be properly filed with the applicable county recorder and served upon the landowner in accordance with the statute.
In some instances, your company may need to fight a mechanics’ lien. Often, subcontractors will file a mechanics’ lien in an attempt to extract payment from a landowner who already paid the general contractor, thus creating a dispute between the general contractor and landowner. However, the general contractor is not without a remedy here. It can force the lienholders hand by posting a bond and forcing the lienholder to commence suit, this is known as bonding off the lien. Consulting a Columbus bonding off mechanics’ lien attorney or a removal of mechanics’ lien attorney can save you from legal headaches and save you thousands of dollars.
The best way to avoid a construction dispute is to ensure there is a crystal clear, and legally compliant, contract in place beforehand. A well drafted contract by a Columbus, Ohio construction attorney will set the expectations for all parties from the outset. Further, it will provide adequate remedies that will help ward off potential litigation. However, in some instances, disputes and litigation becomes inevitable, and it may be time to retain a Columbus contractor dispute litigation lawyer. It is never too early to contact our construction litigation attorney in Columbus, Ohio to efficiently and effectively handle your construction dispute.
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