Understanding Contractor and Building Litigation

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: May 21st, 2014 | Category: Real Estate

Under the California Right to Repair Act, homeowners have the right to hold builders and contractors accountable for failing to meet certain standards. Contractors and builders can be held accountable for a variety of problems, including water intrusion, structural issues, lack of fire protection, mistakes made with plumbing, faulty electrical systems, and other areas that may, for example, involve poor workmanship. Therefore, homeowners can hold contractors and builders responsible for just about any mistake that was made during the building process.

Not all errors are forms of negligence, but negligence does play an important part in litigation with contractors and builders in Orange County. In order to have a successful claim, the homeowner must show that the contractor either:

  • Failed to comply with the building code or
  • Fell below an established industry standard of care.

Proving that the contractor failed to meet a standard of care often requires expert testimony. The homeowner may need evaluators to review the quality of the build and other expert builders to testify that mistakes were made or that the work failed to meet industry standards.

It is important to remember that there is a difference between actual property damage and small quibbles regarding building choices. There are many issues that may arise that are unfortunate yet do not qualify as actual property damage worthy of litigation. It is necessary to show that actual property damage has resulted from negligent construction.

These cases are not always cut and dry. They often involve professionals on both sides claiming that the work was either below acceptable standards or perfectly adequate and reasonable. Of course, there are cases that are less difficult to prove. If the house is beginning to crumble because the wrong mix of concrete was used, it should not be difficult to prove that the contractor or builder should fix the problem right away.

If you are experiencing issues with your home, a simple phone call may be all that is needed. Inform your builder and contractor of what is wrong and have them visit your property for an evaluation. If they refuse to fix the problem or ignore your communication, then it may be in your best interest to consider your legal options. You have the right to a quality built home and contractors and builders should be held accountable for the work they perform.

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