Home Owner, Developer & Property Law

Los Angeles Construction & Real Estate Attorney

As a homeowner, property owner, or developer, you have both money and time invested in your house, building, or project. Choosing an experienced Los Angeles real estate attorney to help you protect that investment is as important as choosing the design professional and contractor who will carry out your vision. From the beginning, the Los Angeles-area Law Office of Steven R. Lovett will work with you to make sure you are protected by reviewing bids, contracts, and insurance coverage and mediating or litigating over construction defects or other liability claims.

Los Angeles construction attorney Steven R. Lovett has been representing property owners, homeowners and developers for nearly 40 years. We leverage his profound knowledge in an increasingly complicated construction law landscape. By focusing on preventive law, we are often able to avoid costly litigation.

The following is a summary of some of the legal issues affecting property owners and developers. Please also visit the following pages:

Contracts & Contract Disputes

A contract defines not only what will be done, but when it will be done, how it will be done, by whom, and at what price. A contract will include information such as:

  • A description of the work/project
  • A schedule of work to be completed, from start to completion
  • Price, including down payment and a schedule of payment
  • Finance charges, if applicable
  • Warranties on both labor and materials
  • Information on filing or satisfying mechanic liens
  • Information about contractor licensure

Delays in project completion, issues of payment, contractor negligence, abandonment of a job or construction defect: all can create a nightmare for a property owner or developer. Whether it is a residential construction project or an office building, every day of work stoppage costs money. Our lawyer has a record of success in mediating, arbitrating and litigating on behalf of property owners and developers.

Working with an attorney experienced in construction law can save you money and aggravation in the long run. For a contract review, call us today.

Removal of Improper Liens

California Civil Code Sections 8480 and 8488 make it clear that if a lien claimant has not perfected the lien by filing suit within 90 days, the owner is entitled to file an action and receive reasonable attorneys' fees against the lien claimant.

In addition, if the lien seeks compensation for items other than services not properly the subject of a mechanic's lien, such as delay damages, an owner can file a motion requesting that the court remove the lien. Lambert v. Superior Court (MacEwen) (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 383.

Action on Contractor's License Bond

Licensed contractors are required to maintain license bonds. These bonds only cover a minimal sum, generally $15,000.00, and are designed to cover any violation by the contractor of the Contractor's License Law. If there are multiple claimants, the additional claims reduce the amount that other claimants may receive. The most common violations are:

  1. The contractor abandoned the project without legal excuse in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7107;
  2. The contractor's diversion of funds in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7107;
  3. The contractor failed to pay subcontractors in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7108.5;
  4. The contractor willfully departed in a material respect from accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike construction in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7109;
  5. The contractor aided, abetted or conspired with an unlicensed person in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7114.

Retention and Progress Payments for Private Works

California Civil Code Section 8812 requires an owner to pay retention within 45 days of completion, and for the contractor to pay subs within 10 days of receipt of retention, or they are subject to a 2 percent penalty per month on the improperly withheld amount, in lieu of interest. The prevailing party shall also be entitled to attorney's fees.

California Civil Code Section 8800 requires payment of progress payments within 30 days or the amount is subject to the same penalty as above.

California Civil Code Section 3319 provides that design professional contract on private works can provide for late fees in lieu of interest.

Contact Our Los Angeles Real Estate & Construction Lawyer

As a property owner or developer, you need assistance and representation in protecting your investment.

Contact a Los Angeles construction attorney by e-mail or call us for a free telephonic consultation.

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