Contracts are an essential part of any real estate or property-based agreement. It could be a transaction involving a private residence. It could be a contractor hired by a construction firm to handle the electrical or plumbing. These contracts often involve large sums of money and are very specific about the purchased property or job. Ideally, they are an equitable arrangement with a fair price for services rendered or property sold. The contact will also include language regarding a breach of contract, but the reality of the matter may be different than what was envisioned.
What are your goals?
It is best to figure out before filing a suit what is the ideal outcome for resolving the dispute. Often the plaintiff will want the contractor to fix work that is unsatisfactory or did not meet all the criteria outlined in the agreement. Maybe the plaintiff wants money because delays caused them to lose income, be inconvenienced or otherwise damaged the health of their business. Or, one party may wish to void a contract because the agreement was found to be unfair or unrealistic.
Court can be expensive and time-consuming, so it may be faster and more effective for the parties to negotiate outside of court if both sides can find a workable solution. This can be particularly useful if it is in the best interests of both sides to continue to work together on future projects.
Going to court
Depending on the circumstances of the dispute, litigation may be unavoidable. There are several reasons for going to court:
- The money involved is worth the cost of litigation
- There are issues with the construction or construction materials
- One party fell substantially short of meeting the agreement outlined in the contract
- An association believes the work (or work in progress) does not meet its standards or caused harm to property
- There are title issues to resolve
- The work does not meet local building codes
Contracts serve a purpose
A business or property owner often base plans on what is in a contract. The success or failure to fulfill that contract may be the difference between profitability and going out of business. An experienced attorney specializing in property and real estate can help clients navigate these challenging disputes and resolve them fairly and equitably.