Home Improvement Lawyer New Haven, CT
When a property owner decides to perform renovations and hires one or more contractors, they will have contracts with each one of those contractors that stipulates the work that the contractor will be performing and the full sum that the property owner will be paying them. A good contract will address both known issues that will come up, as well as solutions for issues that may come up. Having a skilled home improvement lawyer New Haven, CT residents rely on representing you will ensure that your contracts will cover all possible bases.
Unfortunately, when issues are not covered in contracts and they do come up, the issues can quickly escalate and instead of having a solution in place, it now becomes a major legal issue. Once such a legal issue is the potential of a mechanic’s lien being placed on the property, which can make any future potential real estate sale impossible.
What Is a Mechanic’s Lien?
It is fairly standard with home improvement projects for a property owner to hire one contractor to perform the work and that is the only contractor the owner makes payments to. It is the contractor who then hires subcontractors to perform specific parts of the construction (i.e. electricians, plumbers, etc.) and the contractor pays the subcontractor.
But what happens if the contractor fails to pay the subcontractor for the work they performed? Or fails to pay suppliers for building materials ordered and used on the project? As a New Haven, CT home improvement lawyer can explain, those parties may file a mechanic’s lien.
A mechanic’s lien allows subcontractors and suppliers who the contractor doesn’t pay to place a mechanic’s lien on the property. This can be especially problematic for the property owner who has already paid the contractor.
Requirements for a Mechanic’s Lien in Connecticut
Under Connecticut law, subcontractors are not required to provide preliminary notice at the beginning of the project, however, they are required to provide the property owner and the contractor a notice of intent within 90 days after they have stopped all work. The Certificate of Mechanic’s Lien must also be recorded within 90 days of the subcontractor’s last day of work.
The certificate must be recorded with the Town Clerk of the town the property is located in. The subcontractor then has 30 days to have the property owner and/or the contractor served via proper official with copies of the certificate.
The subcontractor then has one year from the date of the certificate recording to initiate foreclosure action on the mechanic’s lien. There are certain criteria that must be met that a lawyer can evaluate to determine what the circumstances are in your case, including the steps needed to get the mechanic’s lien released.
Call Our Office for Help
If you are a property owner who has been notified of a mechanic’s lien on your property, you must speak to a New Haven, CT home improvement lawyer right away since time is of the essence in these cases and missing deadlines can be critical. Call Eric Lindh Foster Law, LLC for legal assistance.
Home Improvement Lawyer New Haven CT
If you are involved with construction either as a contractor or as the owner of real estate it could be vital that you speak to a home improvement lawyer in New Haven, CT to understand what is called a mechanics lien. It truly depends on which jurisdiction you live in and sometimes these are called construction liens or property liens. Either way, if you have to deal with this thing you should talk to a home improvement lawyer to help you understand just what this means.
Mechanic’s Liens for Subcontractors and Suppliers
It isn’t just general contractors who can file for a lien. Subcontractors and suppliers also potentially have this remedy. Let’s say for example that you have a pool installer in the pool. The contractor hired a concrete subcontractor to pour the concrete for the base of the pool. The subcontractor would have no contact with the owner of the property so what happens to the general contractor who never pays the subcontractor?
In this case, the subcontractor could sue the general contractor for breach of contract. However, they can also file a lien directly onto the property owned by the owner. This would give them some leverage the ass homeowner will immediately receive notice of the lien and likely pressure the general contractor to remedy that situation. The idea behind this type of lien is to ensure that breakers receive their due compensation matter if they are a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier.
Items That Can Be Included in the Amount of a Lien
Not all costs can be included in the amount claimed underling. The rules are going to vary from state to state the contractors can normally only file a lien for labor, materials, and services that they provide that would improve the property.
If you take the example above the subcontractor could include in lien the value of the concrete, the rental cost of equipment, and the hourly time costs for services. They would not be able to include the attorney’s fees for the lien since that is a benefit to the value of the property. They also could not include any punitive damages, emotional distress, or any other sort of qualitative damages. The amount of the lien is limited to the hard costs of the improvement to the land or the property and covers nothing else.
Local Laws and the Importance Regarding Mechanic’s Liens
Many legal documents are going to look essentially the same from one state to the next. Mechanic liens however are highly state specific. This means that different County clerks might have a very particular practice regarding how they required liens to be formatted in order to be accepted. This is why having a lawyer on your team can ensure that your lien is going to be accepted in the area you are in.
Each state also has specific limitation periods for when liens can be filed. This can vary from state to state but also from county to county and how long you can take to file a mechanics lien. Because of these differences it is extremely important to consider the local laws and practices before trying to file a lien for yourself. It is honestly in your best interest to contact a home improvement lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut to ensure that everything is done correctly.
If you have any more questions regarding mechanic liens and don’t hesitate to reach out to a home improvement lawyer in New Haven, CT for more information.
Important Provisions Your Home Improvement Contract Should Have
If you are hiring contractors to make home improvements to your property, it is important to draft a detailed contract as soon as possible. A contract can give you legal recourse if issues occur during your construction project. Here are several provisions to include in your home improvement contract.
- A provision that states the contractor must give the homeowner a sworn statement before payment. The statement has to include the names and contact information of every contractor working on the home improvement project, in addition to how much each contractor is paid.
- A provision that states all modification orders have to be signed by all parties.
- A provision that states the date of completion of the project.
- A provision states the contractors can’t stop working without a good reason.
- A provision that states a description of the work that will be performed, including the materials that will be used and equipment that will be installed.
- A provision that states the contractor will provide you with proof of general liability insurance.
- A provision that allows you to have an architect or inspector review the progress of the home improvement project.
Getting Assistance from a Home Improvement Lawyer
Drafting a home improvement can involve many complexities and include complicated language that the average person doesn’t understand. If you do not know how to approach this contract, it may be in your best interest to hire a home improvement lawyer in New Haven, CT. He or she can help you draft a valid contract and ensure that it reflects your best interests.
Questions to Ask a Home Improvement Lawyer
If you have decided to hire a home improvement lawyer to assist you with your contract, it is important to schedule consultations with reputable lawyers in your area. During these meetings, ask them various questions about their skills and experience to determine if they are the right fit. Here are several questions you should ask a home improvement lawyer.
- How many years of experience do you have in home improvement law?
- Where did you attend law school?
- What are your fees?
- How many similar cases have you worked on in the past?
- Will there be anyone else helping with my case?
- What is the best method to reach you?