Personal Service Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (known as “ADR”) is a way to resolve disagreements with contractors without the time and expense of litigation. The two main types of ADR are arbitration and mediation. Mediation is when a neutral third party (known as a mediator) tries to get the two sides to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. In arbitration, a neutral third party (known as an arbitrator) hears both sides’ evidence and makes a binding decision. Our construction attorneys have achieved considerable success representing homeowners in arbitration and mediation in all aspects of New Jersey construction law.

Contract Negotiation And Drafting

Hiring a contractor to perform home renovations or to construct a new home is a major undertaking. The terms of the relationship will be governed by the contract. Terms such as cost, what is included for that cost, schedule and warranties should be included. There should also be provisions for what should happen in the event that the start or completion of the work is delayed. There should be remedies for what happens if the contractor breaches the contract. One useful tool is “retainage,” for example; a portion of the contract price is held back (or "retained") until all of the work is finally competed in order to compel swift completion by the contractor .

Construction Defects

Our attorneys represent homeowners in disputes over a wide variety of construction defects by contractors in all trades, such as general contractors and subcontractors, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and HVAC specialists.

Construction Law

One of the most significant projects a homeowner can undertake is the construction or renovation of a home. New Jersey construction law can be complex. Our firm has been helping homeowners for many years in all areas of construction law including contract negotiation and drafting, construction defects, breach of contract, fraud, homeowners warranty issues, construction litigation and construction liens.

Construction Liens

When a contractor or subcontractor claim that they have not been paid in full by the owner or general, the New Jersey Construction Lien Law permits them to file a construction lien (formerly known as a mechanics lien) on the property within 90 days after the date of the last work they performed. This is a drastic tool for contractors, as it will prevent the owner from selling or financing the home. However the New Jersey Construction Lien Law has many technical requirements which will result in dismissal of the lien and recovery of attorneys fees by the homeowner. We utilize every defense, substantive and technical, to defend owners facing wrongfully filed construction liens.

Construction Litigation

When disputes arise, we represent homeowners in litigation in the full range of construction law litigation. For example, we pursue contractors for claims of construction defects, breach of contract and fraud. We defend homeowners, for example, when they face contractors’ claims that they failed to pay or when they improperly place construction liens on the property.

Consumer Fraud in New Jersey Construction Law

New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act protects homeowners in three ways. First, it makes “unconscionable commercial practices,” including negligent misrepresentations or falsehoods and intentional omissions by contractors to be consumer fraud. Second, it requires written contracts with specific information and insurance information including start and stop dates, a three day cancellation period, the contractor’s registration number with the Department of Community Affairs, all warranties and similar information and insurance information the absence of which is consumer fraud. Third, of either of these items of consumer fraud occur, the homeowners may recover triple damages and payment of their attorneys fees by the contractor. Our construction attorneys have been using the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to successfully protect homeowner’s rights for many years.

Homeowners Warranty ("HOW") Issues

New Jersey construction law includes Homeowners Warranty Program ("HOW"). Under this law, homebuilders are required to provide a ten year warranty in the newly constructed homes (coverage decreases with the passage of time). We assist homeowners on making warranty claims under the Homeowners Warranty Program, and representing them in arbitration and appeals if their claims are denied. We also pursue contractors on their behalf when the contractors fail to provide them with the warranty.

Contact Us

If you are a homeowner and need help with a construction law issue, call us at (973) 890-0004 or e-mail us to set up a time to speak with one of our construction law attorneys. We can help.

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