Austin Construction And Real Estate Law Blog

Is your company facing construction defect claims?

You take pride in your work, and that includes completing jobs on time and within budget as often as possible. Your construction company builds homes where people will raise their families, celebrate victories and come together to comfort one another. Homes are among the most expensive investments people can make, and they understandably want the job done right.

When your company faces accusations of construction defects, you certainly want to defend your reputation. Construction defects encompass a wide variety of problems from various stages during the project. If you are dealing with a homeowner's claims that your company did poor work, you will want to seek legal assistance from someone who is knowledgeable in construction law and defects.

Your rights when buying into an HOA

When you began your search for the perfect place to raise your family or retire, you likely took a careful look at the neighborhoods as well as the kitchen, baths and bedrooms. An unpredictable neighborhood or inconsiderate neighbors can make even the perfect house into a living nightmare.

One way to avoid many of the problems that are common among neighbors is to purchase a home in a gated or planned community. Homeowners associations control these neighborhoods. The HOA is comprised of homeowners in the community who agree to live by the rules before they buy their homes. If you are considering purchasing a home in a Texas community that has an HOA, you would be wise to read carefully and fully understand those rules before making your decision.

Change orders are a fact of life in the construction business

Perhaps you are finally doing what you always dreamed of: running your own construction business here in Texas. As a general contractor, you spend a significant amount of time working with an owner to determine exactly what he or she expects and figuring out how to make it happen.

Once you feel as though you have a handle on what the client expects of you on a project, you provide the owner with a cost. After further negotiating, if needed, you sign a contract. Hopefully, in the midst of all of the other agreed-upon terms, you included a detailed description of the scope of the work you will do and the cost for doing it.

How helpful is a construction warranty?

If you have worked in home construction for any amount of time, you probably learned quickly how important the contract is between you and the homeowner. The contract defines your role and obligations to the customer as well as the expectations and responsibilities of the person who hired you. Essentially, you promise to do excellent work before the deadline, and your customer agrees to pay you the full amount on time.

You may also offer your customers a warranty. For many contractors, the warranty allows them to give a sense of confidence to their customers and relieves them of liability once the warranty expires. However, under Texas law, that might not always be the case.

Have non-payment issues left you considering your legal options?

As a contractor, subcontractor or other construction-connected business, your company may perform various construction-related duties for numerous people at any given time. Over the years, you may have perfected your scheduling, consultations, bids and other actions that could help you get a leg up when potentially competing with other companies for a particular job. Though most of your work goes through without much issue, you could still face risks when it comes time for payment.

You likely utilize invoices to allow the person or company for which you worked to know the cost of your services. While most people likely pay as expected, you may have run into an issue in which someone has not fulfilled an invoice. In some cases, simple requests could easily resolve this issue, but other cases may need more serious measures.

When can a seller cancel the sale?

Finding the perfect home is not easy. There are so many considerations, including price, square footage, number of bathrooms and location. Once you have found a house that checks every item on your wish list, you put down your deposit and sign a contract. You probably have a good feeling because the sellers are motivated.

Did you sell your house next? Did you put your things into storage and find a temporary home because you felt like this was a done deal? Then, for some reason, the sellers backed out. Where does this leave you?

What can you expect from a seller's disclosure?

If you've been in the market for a house for some time, you may be frustrated trying to find something you can afford that won't require a lot of repairs in a nice neighborhood. You may have visited some fragile fixer-uppers whose defects were pretty obvious, but what about the charming home with fresh paint and new carpeting?

Anyone who buys a house is taking a risk. Even a new construction has the potential for defects or faults that could cause you trouble or cost you money. This is why Texas and other states have disclosure laws obligating sellers to inform potential buyers of any known problems with the house and property.

Building a strong case over residential construction defects

Legal issues pertaining to a Texas construction project can be difficult to navigate. From breach of contract to the discovery of defects in a completed project, you may need to know how you can protect your rights and take the appropriate action to resolve your issue as soon as possible.

There are many complex issues at hand when dealing with construction defects. You have the right to pursue a beneficial outcome to your issue, but holding the appropriate parties liable for the problem may be more difficult than you presumed. Whether it is the contractor, construction company, subcontractor or developer to blame, you do not have to deal with it by yourself.

What are my rights regarding an easement on my property?

Whenever you are buying or selling a piece of property in Texas, you would be wise to be certain that you fully understand any easements on the property. An easement can be the source of various legal disputes, and knowing your rights is the first step in protecting your interests.

You may be surprised to find that your neighbor or even the public have the right to use your property in certain ways. An easement is a property right that allows people to use your property for a specific purpose without it qualifying as trespassing. Easements can be the source of complex boundary and land-use disputes.

Subcontractors: when do you file a mechanic’s lien?

You were hired by the general contractor for a construction project in Austin. The project itself went smoothly, but weeks have gone by and you have still not received payment. The general contractor has been vague about your check, and you are concerned that it may never come. Unfortunately, you spent a substantial amount of money on supplies for the job. You need to receive payment soon in order to pay your bills and the men who work with you. What can you do to secure payment?


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Law Office of Tom Murphy
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Austin, TX 78759

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