Q: Is there a way to legally terminate a fencing contract when they didn't complete the work?
We signed a contract 5 months ago, they installed everything but the gates and 39' of fencing. They are not communicating with us and have failed to finish the project. It's a safety issue to not have the gates and we'd like to install them ourselves at this point. Can we legally terminate the contract with them? We paid them 70% of the contract already. We'd hate to pay for new gates and finish it only to have to pay them anyway.
A: I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. It is good that you asked prior to doing anything. It is always important to look to the contract first. Basically, look at your contract and see if there are provisions governing when the fence must be installed, when your payments must be made, and what happens in the event that one or the other is not completed. If there is a provision governing this situation, carefully review it. In fact, I suggest using a local North Carolina attorney to advise you on your rights per the contract.
You can also ask the fencing company for assurances that it plans to finish the fence and when it will be finished. All of this helps your case that the fencing company abandoned its promised obligations and breached the contract. At some point, if the fence is not completed, and a North Carolina attorney has reviewed your contract and the situation, you may want to finish the fence and sue for damages. This is called mitigation.
You should have a local attorney read the contract and listen to your situation. Then he/she can advise you for your next steps.
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