California Construction Law Questions & Answers

Q: Travel is done on my own time and compensated with $20 per diem for traveling steel/iron worker?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Apr 4, 2019
Neil Pedersen's answer
There are a lot of facts and documents that would need to be known to give a definitive answer. Union membership and collective bargaining agreement provisions would need to be known. Generally, without a CBA that might be allowed to modify the law in general, you must be paid for travel at a rate that is at or more than the minimum wage except for normal commute time. You must also be reimbursed an amount that reasonably approximates your actual expenses in using your own vehicle and being...

Q: So I been living at my house for 17 years since I was 15 the man passed away can they kick me out with no eviction

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Construction Law and Consumer Law for California on
Answered on Mar 4, 2019
Scott Richard Kaufman's answer
I would think YES they have to "evict" you. That's likely to happen FAST. At 30+ years old, now is as good a time as any to go and grow up and join the adult community out there and experience the outside world! Sorry for your loss. Good luck with you!

Q: What is a mechanic's lien?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Timur Akpinar's answer
In general, a mechanic’s lien is a security interest against someone’s property. It can arise if a homeowner fails to pay a contractor who performs work and the contractor files the lien. If you are involved with a mechanic’s lien and require more in-depth information, consult with an attorney in California.

Tim Akpinar

Q: Our contractor seems to have abandoned our project, no contact in 3 wks. He left many tools. When can I sell his tools?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on Dec 4, 2018
Hung Le's answer
First, it's better you look at the contract to see if (i) any period required for a contract termination; (ii) if the answer is yes, then you have to follow it, and you will have your entitlement to sell tools left at your house. If the answer is no, (or you think it is worthy doing so) then you might need to serve him/her a notice to the address stated in the contract or if no such address is given, his residential place, asking for the resumption of the work, and the possibility of imposing a...

Q: I purchased a home with a backyard patio that was not permitted. Can I take legal action?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Aug 14, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
If at the time the seller disclosed to you that the patio was not permitted they knew that the City had opened a claim against them, you might be able to sue the seller for the tear-down costs you are now incurring, which they should be responsible for.

Q: Signed contract with general contractor. I gave him $19k to start and I have my receipt to prove. My home not finished.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jul 24, 2018
Dale S. Gribow's answer
i had a similar thing happen to me................obviously a crook

was he licensed? report to the licensing board? sue in small claims for up to $10k but getting a judgment is just the first step. Then you have to get him to pay.

you can also go to the local court where he has offices and run a civil index to see who else has sued him and what happened with them.

my guess is you will never get what you want and deserve.

Q: Signed Constructn Contrct March28,2018.Suppose to be 6wks to rehab house.Total bid $28k, I gav $19k cash but No workDONE

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jul 3, 2018
William John Light's answer
File a complaint with the State Contractor's License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Filing_A_Complaint/).

Q: My contractor's project manager advised had me write out the checks under his name. LAPD told me to sue the company.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Jun 19, 2018
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
It is not clear why you signed another contract with this company while your dispute remained unresolved. If you were making progress payments, it is also not clear why most of the work was not completed. You need to get out of a public forum and into a consultation with an attorney promptly. Based on the facts stated here, the LAPD is wrong.

Q: Contractor hired not on the license, nor an employee of the co. in which he said he’s a partner. Is contract valid?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on May 11, 2018
John T. Kontrabecki's answer
The contract is void. A construction agreement entered into with a contractor who is not licensed in the state of California is an illegal contract and therefore void. It may also be fraudulent.

Q: Our contractor has skipped town after making some shoddy repairs to our house - what's the next step here?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Check your contract for an arbitration clause, but generally, make a claim on the bond, file suit, contact the Contractor's State Licensing Board. Of course get estimates and make repairs (at the evry least enough to keep from making things worse.)

Q: A construction company did work on my home and now the work is falling apart and after several calls they havent come

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Dec 29, 2017
William John Light's answer
You can file a complaint with the State Contractor's License Board. http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Filing_A_Complaint/

You can also retain an attorney for a lawsuit, but that takes money.

Q: Condo flooded by upstairs neighbor kitchen remodel.

2 Answers | Asked in Insurance Defense, Construction Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Nov 20, 2017
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Not sure what your theory is against the HOA - if there is one, they can be included in a lawsuit. Otherwise, you can sue the upstairs neighbor (and their contractor since you've already uncovered who they are). The insurance companies have a duty to try and settle a loss after liability has become relatively clear, but if there are genuine disagreements about percentage of fault, you may need a lawsuit to iron those out.

Q: Bought a house last may 2017. Builder stated in contract 4kw of solar. Solar company said only 3kw installed.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Nov 15, 2017
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
To some extent, your remedies will depend on the contract for the house. In addition to fraud and breach of contract, you may have actions for false advertising and under the unfair competition statutes. You have not said how long it has been since you bought the house - you should consult with an attorney right away, because of the potential loss of rights which can come from legal or contractual deadlines.

Q: We have a deposit on a condo just starting construction. I asked the agent who purchased the other 3 units in the bldg.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on Nov 1, 2017
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Don't blame your real estate agent. Housing discrimination based on age or family characteristics is illegal. An exception is developments specifically designated as older adult. If that is what you are looking for, look for such a specially designed place. Besides, your approach is short sighted from a practical point of view; what would keep one of your new neighbors from moving the next year, and selling to whoever they want?

Q: Constitutional 4th and 14th Amendment violations? -City and County of San Francisco , unreasonable search and seizure?

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights, Collections and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Oct 25, 2017
Dale S. Gribow's answer
it is often frustrating being a lawyer and having a judge rule contrary to the law.

clients don't have the money to hire you to make a motion ordering the judge to follow the law.

every county, courtroom and judge has their own take on things.

you can always appeal the results if they are contrary to the law

Q: How do I get my money back paid for a project that I paid in full but not completed?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Answered on Sep 7, 2017
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Depending on your written contract, you can sue, or go to arbitration. If the contract provides, you can recover your attorney fees. You can also file a complaint with the Contractors State Licensing Board: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/

Q: 25+ YR 60' retaining wall built incorrectly per original plans, falling apart. Can original contractor insurance be sued

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Insurance Bad Faith for California on
Answered on Sep 2, 2017
William John Light's answer
No. There is a 10 year statute of limitations on latent defects. Also, although the wall deviated from plans, it would be hard to argue that a wall that lasted 60 years was defective.

Q: How do I confront discrimanitory eviction from a storage facility having broken no rules ?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Answered on Aug 29, 2017
William John Light's answer
I would imagine that your rental agreement contains the rules pertaining to your stay, and that the Notice of Eviction specifies what contractual rules you are alleged to have broken. We could answer a lot more accurately if you would provide all of the facts.

Q: Are there laws to help an 85-year old break a contract for $9000 worth of work she was pressured into?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Elder Law and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Aug 29, 2017
William John Light's answer
Contact the State Contractor's License board and your local District Attorney's office and report the contractor for elder abuse. This type of conduct is a well known scam to prey upon the elderly.

Q: We hired a contractor to install some floors in our home on an hourly basis. he did it wrong and will not fix

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Answered on Aug 21, 2017
William John Light's answer
Sue in Small Claims court and recover your actual damages up to $10k. Bring photos, receipts, contracts, cancelled checks or other documents necessary to prove your case.

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