Florida’s prosperous real estate market offers plenty of opportunities to renovate, expand, or build your ideal property from the ground up. Yet like every endeavor in life, there is always the possibility that something will go wrong. Even with the best intentions, Construction Disputes can still emerge between one or more of the parties involved in the project, based on any number of factors and disagreements.
The longer and more intractable dispute, the likelier it will drag on and escalate, further jeopardizing your real estate goals. Jurado & Associates, P.A. has a specialized team of Real Estate Attorneys dedicated to helping resolve these disputes as quickly and effectively as possible, so all parties can go back to doing what they know best.
How do Construction Disputes Happen?
The last thing anyone wants is for their construction project to be mired in conflict and delay. Yet disputes are all too common throughout the Sunshine State, sometimes lasting years and often dealing a fatal blow to otherwise promising projects—so how and why does this happen?
One common cause of conflict stems from the contract governing the project. A construction contract will set forth the obligations and liabilities of each party and may sometimes include a timetable for making incremental payments based on the progress of the construction. Disputes often arise over a period of time, during which the parties may come to disagree on the allocation of risk, the pace or progress of construction, or conflicting interpretations of the contract terms.
Another frequent source of conflict is uncertainty: The difference between the amount of information needed to start a project and the information that is available at the time. The requirements, scope, timeframe, and budget of a project can change as circumstances change or new information emerges: Changes to the market impacting the viability of the project, cost overruns for certain supplies, or unexpected difficulties in excavating the site, to name just a few examples.
In short, any number of factors can contribute to a construction dispute, which will not only delay a potentially crucial project, but can lead to greater costs and drawn-out issues for months or even years.
Resolving Contract Disputes
Regardless of what triggers the dispute, the obvious question is how to resolve it. The longer both parties are in dispute the more time, money, and peace of mind is lost. There are four main methods of dispute resolution, each suited to a particular circumstance, objective, or stage of the dispute.
This is typically the first part of dispute resolution, when the parties try to reach an amicable solution between themselves before moving further to other means of dispute resolution. It is the easiest and least expensive approach and may potentially lead to the most immediate productive results. Even if it does not deliver results, a negotiation can still prove fruitful in laying out where the parties stand.
Mediation is when the disputing parties seek a neutral third party to help resolve the dispute. In theory, a mediator can be anyone the parties agree on, but is typically a licensed professional or even a judge. Consequently, compared to negotiation, mediation offers a stronger possibility of a resolution; however, the mediate only lays out the path to a solution, leaving it up to the parties to decide to follow through.
Arbitration is a common means of dispute resolution and is often enshrined in contracts and the terms of service for consumer products. Like mediation, the parties must choose a neutral third party with the relevant experience to bring them to an amicable solution. However, unlike in mediation, the arbitrator gives the final verdict to the dispute. Moreover, the costs of arbitration are significantly higher, while the arbitrator’s decisions may be legally binding in some jurisdictions.
When all else fails, litigation offers the most decisive resolution to a dispute. It involves taking your case to court, undergoing trial, and obtaining an enforceable and legally binding order from a judge. It is the most thorough, complex, and decisive dispute resolution process, but often the costliness and typically the longest. Hence it is not something to be done lightly or without legal expertise.
Jurado & Associates, P.A. is Ready to Stand by Your Side
Regardless of what brings you to our office, you can rest assured that our firm is ready, willing, and able to provide zealous representation in and out of court. We have experience handling a wide variety of complex disputes, especially those centered on construction. Our South Florida law firm has ample experience with the state’s dynamic real estate market and the various issues that may emerge, including at the construction phase. If you are facing are facing a construction dispute, already engaged in potential litigation, or simply wish to learn more about our services, call (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected].