NYC Construction Payment Disputes Lawyer

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Construction payment disputes require an attorney knowledgeable about the construction industry and the local legal landscape. These disputes can impact project timelines, financial planning, and professional relationships. They often arise from disagreements over the scope of work, payment schedules, quality of work, or contract terms.

In New York City’s bustling construction market, where every project represents a substantial financial investment and is subject to strict regulatory standards, resolving payment disputes is crucial. Such resolutions require a nuanced perspective of the industry and its relation to construction contracts. If you’re facing a payment dispute or wish to prevent potential issues, contact Richman Law Firm PLLC today for a free consultation.

Contractor Back Charges

Contractor back charges are a common source of payment disputes in the construction industry. Back charges occur when a general contractor or project owner has to pay for work that a subcontractor or supplier should have completed. These costs can include labor, materials, equipment, or other expenses necessary to correct or complete the subcontractor’s work.

Back charges can become contentious due to disagreements over the corrective work’s necessity, cost, or responsibility. They often arise from miscommunication, misunderstanding of contract terms, or disputes over the quality of work.

Handling back charges properly is essential to avoid escalating disputes and litigation. This includes providing detailed documentation of the corrective work and its costs and following contract procedures for back charges.

Common Types of Construction Payment Disputes

Construction payment disputes can take many forms, each with unique complexities and potential impacts on a project. Below are some common construction disputes we handle at Richman Law Firm PLLC.

Delayed Payments

Delayed payments can disrupt a construction project, leading to cash flow issues and halted work. These delays can arise from disputes over the quality or completion of work, administrative errors, or financial difficulties. Understanding your rights and obligations under the contract is crucial in resolving these disputes effectively.

Change Order Disputes

Change orders are a standard part of construction projects. They allow modifications to the original contract in response to unforeseen circumstances, design changes, or other factors. However, disputes can arise over the validity, cost, or execution of these change orders, which can delay the project and increase costs.

Contractor Abandonment

Contractor abandonment occurs when a contractor or subcontractor ceases work on a project without cause, leaving the work incomplete. The reasons for abandonment can vary, from financial difficulties to disputes over payment or contract terms. Navigating this requires understanding contract law and the specific terms of your agreement.

In such situations, it is vital to assess the contract’s terms regarding abandonment and understand the legal remedies available. These may include terminating the contract, hiring a replacement contractor, and seeking damages for any additional costs incurred due to the abandonment.

Scope of Work Disputes

The scope of work is a critical component of any construction contract. It outlines the specific tasks, materials, and timeline for the project. Disputes arise when there is disagreement over what a contract requires, whether certain work has been completed adequately, or whether additional work is necessary. Scope of work disputes can be complex and require in-depth knowledge of technical construction issues to resolve.

The key to avoiding and resolving these disputes lies in the clarity and detail of the contract documents, including drawings and specifications. Before commencing the project, all parties must have a mutual understanding of the scope of work.

Construction Defects

Construction defects impact a project’s timeline, budget, and quality. Construction defects can range from minor issues like cosmetic flaws to major structural problems that pose safety risks. Disputes frequently arise over who is responsible for defects and who should bear the remediation cost.

Construction defect disputes require evaluating contract terms and local building codes. They may also involve technical evidence, such as expert evaluations or engineering reports.

Incomplete Work

Incomplete work disputes occur when a party alleges that a contractor or subcontractor has failed to complete all the work outlined in the contract. This can include failing to finish the project within the agreed timeline, failing to perform specific tasks, or leaving work unfinished.

These disputes can be complex, as they often involve assessing what work was required under the contract, what work has been completed, and what remedies are available for any incomplete work. They may also involve contract clauses for delay damages or liquidated damages.

Preventing Payment Contract Disputes

While it is crucial to understand how to resolve construction payment disputes, it is equally important to know how to prevent them. At Richman Law Firm PLLC, we offer a number of services to avoid payment disputes before they arise.

Bond Claims

Construction bonds are surety bonds used in construction projects to ensure contractors fulfill their contract obligations. If a contractor fails to pay subcontractors or suppliers or completes the project according to the contract terms, a claim can be made against the bond.

Knowing how and when to use and enforce these bonds can help prevent payment disputes. We can help with what documentation is required, navigating the legal process, and the feasibility of bond claims for your contract.

Mechanic’s Lien

A mechanic’s lien is a legal tool that contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers can use to secure payment for their work on a construction project. By filing a mechanic’s lien against the property owners, where they performed work, these parties can potentially force the sale of the property to recover unpaid fees.

Understanding how to file and enforce a mechanic’s lien properly can help prevent payment disputes and ensure payment for your work. Given the specific requirements for filing a lien, it is advised to seek construction attorneys with experience in New York Lien Law.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you are involved in a construction payment dispute or want to prevent potential issues, Richman Law Firm, PLLC can help resolve payment disputes in New York City. We provide services for contractors and property owners handling construction disputes. Beyond complex construction litigation cases, we may assist in drafting and reviewing construction contracts. Contact us for a free initial consultation.


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    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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