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Property Owners and Developers Attorney in Los Angeles, California

If you own property or are a developer, at some point you’ll have to enter into a contract for an improvement project, expansion, repair, or new design. Any time you form a legal agreement with another party, you’re putting yourself at some level of risk, no matter how air-tight your contract is. One way to reduce this risk and ensure your investment is protected is working with a contract law attorney who will be by your side from start to finish.  

If you’re in the Los Angeles, California, area and want to learn more about what an experienced lawyer can do for you, reach out to us at Builders Law Group, Inc. From our offices, we’re able to represent clients throughout Riverside, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. 

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Responsibilities of Property Owners and Developers  

There are certain responsibilities property owners and developers have, whether you’re just the owner or the owner and contractor. As with any legal agreement, these responsibilities should be comprehensively laid out in your contract, which can reduce delays and contract disputes and pave the way for a conflict-free project.  

For many developers wishing to maximize their profits, this means forming a separate construction company to carry out the work, which can streamline the process and reduce costs. However, if you do pursue this route, you must ensure that you keep the two entities (you as the owner and you as the contractor) separate and always use contracts. It can be tempting to let the two roles overlap, but this can cause problems down the line, not to mention contributing to an inaccurate accounting of costs and profits.  

Contracts & Disputes  

When you work with an attorney, one of the most common functions they serve is to address contracts and contract disputes. This includes both drafting and reviewing new contract documents and working to resolve contract disputes—ideally before they become serious.  

What’s Commonly Included in Contracts 

Depending on the scope and nature of the work, your contract will look slightly different, and each should be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, there are some common pieces of information that each contract should include:  

  • the complete schedule of when the work will begin and end 

  • a detailed description of the work to be completed 

  • the price and fee structure, including any prepayments or down payments that have been made plus any finance charges 

  • the agreed-upon warranty for services and materials 

  • information mechanic’s liens and how they’ll be satisfied 

  • basic information about the two parties including the contractor licensure information  

Common Disputes  

There are several types of disputes that could come up in the course of the work. In all cases, it’s better to catch these early and resolve them as quickly as possible to avoid losses. These can include: 

  • zoning issues that cause delays 

  • disputes of deeds and titles 

  • breaches of contracts by contractors or subcontractors 

  • conflicts over the quality of the work performed or the materials used 

  • delays in the agreed-upon schedule 

  • the contractor abandons the project 

  • one party is late on a payment or refuses to pay 

Removal of Improper Liens  

Mechanic’s liens are commonly used in the real estate development field, but to use them correctly requires the lienholder to follow very specific rules set out by the state. For example, if they fail to file a suit within 90 days, then the owner can file an action against them. Or, if it’s found that the lien contains requests for money or services that have already been paid or rendered, the lien can be removed. Your attorney can help you with both of these circumstances or improper liens being used.  

Common Contractor Violations  

In instances where your contractor violates the contract, they are required to keep a contractor’s bond to help cover damages related to this. Some common contractor violations include:  

  • abandoning the project 

  • using funds illegally 

  • failing to pay subcontractors they’ve hired 

  • failing to uphold standards of good craftsmanship and using quality materials   

  • working with or subcontracting with unlicensed workers or service providers 

In all of these cases, your main priorities will be to protect yourself and your investment. The good news is that much of this can be prevented ahead of time by only using well-written and legally-binding contracts. However, disputes and violations are bound to arise even for those who have the best intentions. Because of this, you should always have a trusted construction law attorney that you can turn to when you need them. In most cases, they’ll be able to help you resolve the conflict without having to resort to litigation. 

Property Owners and Developers Attorney in Los Angeles, California

Anyone interested in a career in developing or owning real estate needs a trusted team surrounding them, and this includes only working with the best lawyers in the Los Angeles, California, area. If you’d like to learn more about what our firm can do for you, call us at Builders Law Group, Inc today.