Like many cities across Florida, Fort Lauderdale issued an emergency stay-at-home order to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). And like most others, the City declared that construction work could continue as an essential business. However, there is one exception: indoor construction.
Below, we discuss Fort Lauderdale’s stay-at-home order with regard to the construction industry. We’ll also discuss what contractors should do following a government-imposed project shutdown. For any legal assistance, consult the Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law.
Construction Requirements in Fort Lauderdale
As stated by the COVID-19 construction guidelines provided by Fort Lauderdale, “All construction upon or within uninhabited, unoccupied, or vacated structures prior to final Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is permitted, however, construction inside or within inhabited or occupied structures after final CO has been issued is not permitted…” With the exception of construction in essential businesses or to provide accessibility, indoor construction is not permitted in Fort Lauderdale. The city has placed additional restrictions on non-essential alterations or remodeling. Consult a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer for help determining if these provisions apply to your project.
Check Your Contract
If your project has been shut down by the city of Fort Lauderdale, you should check your contract for what is known as a force majeure contract clause. Most contracts have them. Essentially, force majeure contract clauses terminate the contract, excuse contractors of performance, or allow contractors to seek financial relief following an unforeseen event, in this case the COVID-19 pandemic. Once a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer has reviewed your contract, you’ll know what to do next, whether that means pursuing owed payment or preparing to return to work once restrictions have been lifted.
With project shutdowns, there’s always the chance of a dispute emerging. Often, an owner will refuse payment or accuse a contractor of a breach of contract. If this sounds all too familiar, we recommend consulting a lawyer from Cotney Construction Law. Our attorneys can help prevent and resolve disputes that emerge on shutdown projects. If your project has been shut down as a result of COVID-19 and you’re wondering whether or not you’re protected by your contract, contact the experienced team of attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.
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.