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Filing a valid claim against a construction contractor

After a construction contractor completes work on your home, you find a serious defect. Perhaps the contractor provided faulty wiring or incorrectly installed piping. Your family experiences real damages – You cannot eat dinner without your lights flickering or your bathroom spontaneously flooding.

New Hampshire provides the opportunity for you to file a damage claim outside of court against your contractor. You must follow specific steps, but you have the ability to have the situation revised of no charge, or you can receive considerable damages. The court recognizes a contractor’s need to provide due care when completing work, but it also recognizes the contractor’s ability to remedy an undesirable situation if necessary. When dealing with filing legal documents within construction dispute claims, you may wish to speak to an experienced real estate attorney to help you in your quest for resolution or compensation.

Filing a written notice before a claim

New Hampshire law requires you to alert the contractor of your intent to file a claim at least 60 days before filing. This notice gives the contractor the opportunity to remedy the situation before you take legal action. In your notice, you will clearly outline your expectations and how the contractor did not complete the project accurately.

Within 30 days of your written notice, a contract must respond with the following:

  • An offer to settle with money, by repairing the issue or both
  • An offer to inspect the issue before trying to remedy; or
  • A rejection

You may accept the offer to remedy without having to file a claim. Should you not accept the offer or wish to combat the rejection, you will file a claim against the contractor.

Understanding when a contractor is not liable

Before filing a notice or a claim, you want to ensure that you have a valid case against the contractor or company. Applying an attorney’s expertise during this process will help you develop a sound case in receiving compensation or further work on your home. He or she can help designate which avenue will prove most beneficial to follow.

The state of New Hampshire explains that contractors cannot be liable for:

  • Normal effects of the drying of materials over time
  • Their reliance on your written agreement
  • Their following of legal building codes
  • Any defects already known by the homeowner
  • Any defects that should have been known by the homeowner
  • If a homeowner did not allow a them to complete check-ups or warranty steps
  • Normal wear and tear
  • A homeowner’s negligence
  • A homeowner’s alterations

Should you believe that your contractor did not complete the quality or quantity of work stated in your initial agreement, you may have a claim that can bring your compensation.

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