In parts one and two of this four-part series, the Jacksonville construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law discussed the implications of suddenly stopping work when a contract-related dispute arises. Whether you’re being asked to perform jobs outside the scope of work, haven’t been paid for approved invoices, or can’t complete a project due to forces outside of your control, there’s a time and place to walk away, but you should discuss doing so with a lawyer before making any hasty decisions that could affect your future success.
Now, we will discuss what to do when an owner is unable to provide evidence of their ability to fund a project. Your time is valuable, which is why you charge money for every second spent on or off the project site working on relevant, work-related tasks. You can’t afford to let your business foot the bill for an owner with ambitions larger than their wallet. If you’ve already signed a contract and doubt an owner’s ability to finance a project, consult our Jacksonville construction lawyers for assistance.
Show Me the Money or Find Another Contractor
When you consult a lawyer prior to signing on the dotted line, you can have the contract revised to permit you to stop work in the event that the owner cannot fund the project. Whether evidence proves that they don’t have the financial capability to compensate you or haven’t made the necessary financial arrangements to pay project-related bills, you have the right to protect your business if there’s no sense of certainty that an owner has the ability to satisfy their side of the contract. Of course, the burden of proof is your responsibility.
Start With a Well-Written Contract
Your attorney can draft a contractual clause requesting proof throughout the project timeline to support an owner’s ability to pay. This clause may be triggered by late payments or missing payments, and largely depends on a contractor having a “reasonable concern” about the owner’s ability to fund the project. This situation can also arise as a response to unreasonable changes to the scope of work that aren’t accounted for in the contract. In fact, with a well-written contract, you can avoid starting work at all before this information has been provided to you. If a stoppage does occur, our Jacksonville construction attorneys can help you obtain relief for any incurred expenses.
To learn more about when to walk away from a project, read part four.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.