My Contractor Failed to Finish the Work on Time and the Permit Expired

There are times when a contractor will fail to finish a job or when the permit allowing the work will expire leaving the owner of the project without any assistance for days, weeks, or even months. In these circumstances, it is important to know what to do next, who to contact and how to ensure the project completes at some point with minimal additional expense.

Expired Permits

Many construction projects or renovations face permits expiring in Florida cities. Many homeowners are unaware of the expiration even when the department authorities keep a tight record of the matter. The homeowner then must scramble to gather an extension before the work can continue. If the contractor does not finish the work by the time the deadline passes, this could cost the owner more in the end. At that point, the individual can either acquire a new permit, attempt to receive an extension for the expired permit or hire a new contractor and start again from mid-project.

Breach of Contract

If a contractor has a specific deadline because of a permit for building, renovations or for upkeep and additions, he or she must ensure the work is complete. Any violations of the contract could hold him or her in breach. The homeowner at that point may fire the contractor without any additional requirements, or this person could seek damages for the extra needed to pay for a new permit. Not completing the work could also cost the contractor in reputation and other damages based on any specific legal document between the two parties. Then, it is up to the lawyers.

The Building Violation

After the expiration of a valid permit, the homeowner will face violations if continuing the project. It is important to appropriately seek a renewal or a new permit. This may cost the individual additional monies, but when the contractor fails to complete the work, it is necessary to remain within the local ordinances and building laws. If it is the contractor that does not inform the homeowner of the expired permit, this could lead to violations from the inspection. This happens when the employee does not call in the final inspection based on a dispute, conflict or argument with the city or with the owner.

Failure in Performance

If the contractor failed to complete the work, it may happen because he or she rushed certain jobs. This may lead to other violations because the professional wanted to receive payment. Even if the permit expires, the project may not pass inspection because of this incomplete work. In many of these situations, the contractor will not inform the owner of anything he or she does. The repairs, renovations or additions may not pass city inspection if the project is not up to the standards required. Then, the owner will have more problems to resolve.

Pursuing a Claim against the Contractor

When the contractor is at fault for the unfinished project, he or she may owe damages to the homeowner. Generally, the compensation for these items exists in the incomplete work and any additional expenses the owner will need to procure a new permit and to hire a different contractor. In some situations, the homeowner could use the claim to force work from the professional. This is not usually advisable. Inspection costs, fines and fees are usually within the possible damages received through a successful claim or settlement. If the contractor did not tell the homeowner about the expired permit, this could increase possible compensation for additional fines.

The contract between both contracted employee and homeowner usually stipulates the way to seek a resolution to the dispute. If this requires mediation or arbitration first, the owner will need to follow protocol. Then, if this fails or the conclusion is unsatisfactory, the parties may proceed to litigation or settlement negotiations. Other than the process, the contract will usually have provisions about which damages are possible for either party in a breach or violation and what is necessary to seek these damages. The lawyer hired for the case may need to present certain evidence such as the expired permit paperwork or inspection violations documents.

Expired Permit Legal Support

In a construction job, the permit may expire long before the work is complete. If the contractor does not think to settle the matter and the situation costs the homeowner significantly, he or she may need to hire a lawyer and initiate a civil suit to acquire damages for the expenses.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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