Q: I terminated a contractor and did not finished the project, we had a contract can He take legal action against me?
He was taking to long and missed several days, and I tried to communicate with him to check how We can proceed with the cancelation of this project but he is not answering any of my calls. Can He put a lien on my property? Do should be worried about it? Do I need to hire a real state lawyer?
Yes, I would be concerned.
You should have consulted an attorney experienced in construction law before unilaterally terminating the contract.
A contract is binding on both parties. In the absence of a clear expression in the contract of a fixed completion date and that time is of the essence, a contractor has a reasonable time to complete performance. What is reasonable depends on the facts and circumstances of each project. That is often a question for a jury to decide, which means you might not know the answer until 2-3 years of litigation.
When time of completion is important, the project owner typically includes a “delay damage” clause in the contract. Typically, these read that for each day past the promised completion date that the work isn’t completed, the owner receives $x.
The opposite of this, when time of completion isn’t important, is a “no damage for delay” clause.
Most construction contracts require written notices and opportunities for cure when a contractor isn’t performing as expected.
It is very important for you to take your construction contract to a competent attorney experienced in construction law as soon as possible to determine what rights you may have waived, what rights you may still have, and if you salvage any rights that may be in dispute.
Be aware that many contractors also will not know what their rights are or what rights you have waived. Many contractors use contract forms they themselves do not fully understand. So you could both be in the same boat. Knowledge, in this situation, is power.
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