Architects in New York can be found liable for damages in various situations, depending on who claims damage, and the basis of the claim itself. For example, where an owner has a direct contract with the architect, the owner could bring forth a simple claim based on the contract or a claim based on a tort action. Such a tort action, based on negligence, is a claim for malpractice.
For contractors and subcontractors in New York, Mechanic’s Lien Waivers are a part of life, but the potential risks to the contractor in waiving more than intended or understanding of the terms are not always as common. Owners (and often their lender) require that the project be kept lien free through progression of the work to final completion.
Under New York construction law, much emphasis is placed on the “improvement” of real property (real estate). Indeed reference to improvements are often found in New York construction contracts, and establishing an improvement is required for a contractor to establish a valid lien on a privately owned project. But what specifically are the ins and outs?
Are contractors responsible for the impacts of their work on neighboring residents? Oftentimes, they are. This is especially true in densely populated urban areas where literally hundreds of people could be affected by a project only fifty feet away. Some of the principles in these cases are outlined below.
Recently, a contractor asked me how to create a good contract. After further discussion, I understood that this contractor was not licensed, but wanted advice on obtaining a good contract. Well, what is a good contract after all?
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A Lien (or ‘Mechanic’s Lien’) is a potentially powerful tool for contractors, architects, engineers, or suppliers of materials to secure payment for work performed ‘improving’ a property. To properly ‘perfect’ a lien claim, however, strict compliance with the nuances of the New York lien law is required, and often times there are details in the process commonly overlooked.
Contractors are not only responsible for performing their contracted work, but are also charged with keeping the owner and the subcontractors working together to bring the project to completion successfully. Given this, they are regularly the subject of legal disputes. For this reason, many could benefit from an understanding of the following top 5 contractor defenses available in New York.
In a recent client conference, I was asked, “So what is arbitration, anyhow?” In the context of a construction claim or in seeking to prevent such a claim, there are several significant advantages that arbitration can provide in lieu of litigation. In today’s challenging business environment, this signifies awareness of the various options available that could make an important impact on your business’ circumstance.
Briefly stated, arbitration is a private, informal process by which all parties agree, in writing, to submit their dispute to one or more impartial persons authorized to resolve the controversy by rendering a final and binding award.[i] What makes this process unique is the ability, with some advance consideration, to customize and tailor the dispute resolution process to suit the needs of the company.
To minimize potential legal problems when planning construction, whether the project is a large commercial project, a new residence, or even a renovation to an existing structure, care must be taken to have essential terms included in the contract.
For New York Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors, exposure to liability on their completed projects may extend long beyond the completion of the project itself. Exactly how long design professionals can be ‘on the hook’ for claims has been a bit of a moving target in New York, with changes and proposed additional changes to this timeframe.