Construction businesses operate within a framework of complicated law in the state of Ohio. Herrnstein Law helps general contractors, subcontractors, and landowners with contracts that help minimize unforeseen liabilities and assist with construction projects. We assist contractors, subcontractors, and landowners in a wide range of construction-related issues.
The best way to avoid a dispute is to ensure there is a clear and enforceable contract in place before the project begins. A well drafted contract establish the rights and responsibilities for all parties and will provide appropriate remedies that can help ward off litigation. The attorneys at Herrnstein Law have drafted numerous construction-related contracts.
Construction companies with jobs on residential real estate need to be aware of consumer protection laws regarding residential construction. Residential construction projects are frequently governed by the Ohio Home Solicitation Sales Act (“HSSA”), an extremely onerous set of laws that includes a requirement that contractors provide the homeowner with a written contract containing various required provisions. Some residential construction contracts must contain specific language informing the homeowner that they have a right to cancel the transaction within three business days of signing the contract. The failure to include language or a notice in a contract that is required by the HSSA may allow the homeowner to cancel the contract even after the work has been completed or may allow the homeowner to sue a contractor for damages and attorney fees. Many courts have rendered disadvantageous decisions against contractors who mistakenly failed to comply with the requirements of the HSSA.
Contracts for the construction of a residential home are regulated by Ohio law. Home construction contracts that exceed twenty-five thousand dollars must be in writing and contain provisions such as the expected completion date, the estimated cost of the project, and language informing the owners that they are entitled to a written estimate when any additional costs will exceed five-thousand dollars. Herrnstein Law can help ensure that your business remains in compliance.
Contractors must also be aware of Ohio’s requirements for mechanics’ liens. A mechanics’ lien can be a valuable tool for a contractor who has not been paid for its work on a residential or commercial project. Mechanics’ liens are designed to secure a contractor’s right to payment by placing a lien on the real estate upon which the contractor performed its work. Mechanics’ liens are governed by several complicated statutes. The rules for residential projects differ from the rules for a commercial project. Depending on the type of project, certain actions must be taken
both before and after commencement and completion of the project to preserve your right to a mechanics’ lien. On some types of projects, a contractor must file and/or serve a Notice of Commencement or a Notice of Furnishing prior to commencing work in order to preserve their right to later file a mechanics’ lien. The time limit for filing a mechanics’ lien depends on the type of project. In all cases, an affidavit of mechanics’ lien must be properly filed within the required timeframe with the appropriate county recorder’s office and served upon the landowner in the manner provided by Ohio law. Herrnstein Law has assisted many contractors by
examining the appropriate property records to ascertain the owners and legal descriptions of projects and then securing contractors’ rights to payment by preparing, filing, and perfecting mechanics’ liens on the projects.
In some instances, you may need to contest a mechanics’ lien. A subcontractor may file a mechanics’ lien in an attempt to get payment from a landowner who has already paid the general contractor. This creates a dispute between the general contractor and the landowner. On residential projects, the landowner may be covered by a statutory procedure that forces the lienholder to release the lien. On most projects, a landowner or general contractor has various remedies like forcing the lienholder to bond off the lien and to initiate suit. Consulting an attorney who understands these remedies could save you time and money.