A contractor works with the customer on the basis of a written contract. The contractor has an obligation to complete the project according to the specifications in the agreement and building standards. The customer must pay them as the contract dictates.
The contractor’s remedies for nonpayment depend on when it occurs. If the contractor has completed the job, they can file a lawsuit against the customer for breach of contract. A court would order the customer to pay the amount, plus costs and interests. The contract could also specify an additional penalty that the customer may face for late or nonpayment. Hopefully, the contractor has negotiated a contract that gives them maximum protection.
The contract may require progress payments when the contractor meets certain milestones. Contractors depend on these payments to finance the job, and they could rarely complete the project when the customer misses payments. Not only would the contractor have the legal right to file a lawsuit, but they may also not have to continue work on the project. However, the contractor must be very careful about unilaterally walking off the job. If the contractor is not on firm legal ground of their own, they may face their own penalties.
The contractor should always consult with an experienced construction law attorney before they take any action for nonpayment. The attorney could advise them of their legal options and the most effective way to ensure that they are paid. It is crucial to get the advice of an attorney because the contractor could also be at legal risk.
Contact a Los Angeles Construction Law Attorney
The Law Offices of Alan J. Carnegie works with contractors on complex construction law issues. You can reach out to us online or call us today at (877) 261-4456.