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承包商的错误:弗吉尼亚州房主寻求补救的法律选择

2023年12月5日

When homeowners find themselves dealing with the aftermath of a contractor's subpar or incomplete work, 这可能是一次伤脑筋的经历, 因为房子往往是他们拥有的最大、最重要的资产. 无论是新房子的建造还是旧房子的翻新, residential construction projects typically force homeowners to either heavily tax their bank accounts or encumber themselves with loans.

因此, issues on the project site can often cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for homeowners at a time when they are financially spread thin. 如果出现问题, it is important for a homeowner to know their rights under Virginia law and what expenses can be recouped.

合同和. 侵权行为

在大多数情况下, 建筑纠纷受合同法管辖, 使合同成为理解房主对承包商的权利的基石. Contract claims focus on the terms and conditions laid out in the agreement between the homeowner and the contractor and spell out the respective obligations of each party. 如果承包商破坏了房屋, 房主必须证明承包商违反了这些合同义务, 导致房主面临的问题.

On rare occasions, a homeowner may have a claim against their contract with a basis in 侵权行为 law. 侵权行为是基于不法行为或对权利的侵犯而提出的法律要求. 当这些原则因合同关系而存在时, 然而, a homeowner is only able to prevail on a tort claim in the presence of fraud in the inducement of the contract, 胁迫, or a mistake surrounding the creation of the contract or conduct so harmful that it falls outside of the contract. These situations allowing for a tort claim against a contractor are special circumstances that a court will only act on when the conduct of the contractor is clearly outside of the intentions of the parties.

由于处理建设项目侵权索赔的案例比较少, 本文的其余部分将着重讨论违约的补救办法.

争议解决程序

了解解决争议的不同选择是很重要的. 最著名的选择是州法院系统, 房主在哪里有很好的规则和程序来提出他或她的索赔. 然而,诉诸法庭并不是解决纠纷的唯一途径.  替代性争议解决(ADR)是寻求公平解决索赔的另一种方式.  ADR可以提供一个更非正式的, 私人, 解决与承包商纠纷的经济有效的方法. Examples of ADR are arbitration (a process similar to the court system where a claim is decided by a neutral third party), 调解(由中立的第三方充当中间人), 帮助双方达成双方都能接受的协议来结束争议), or, 简单的, 谈判(其中各方, 可能是通过律师, 试着自己达成一致).

Where a written contract is signed between a homeowner and a contractor to perform construction, 选择争议解决程序并将其包含在合同中并不罕见. 如果是这样的话, the parties may have agreed to resolve any dispute within a certain courthouse or through arbitration or to attempt mediation prior to a lawsuit or arbitration. Most of the time these dispute resolution clauses are binding on the parties and can affect how the parties can make a claim.

传统的损害赔偿

即使合同各方选择了ADR程序,如调解或谈判, 在哪里双方可以达成协议,只要是相互的, 重要的是要知道房主可以根据法律获得哪些补救措施. Calculation of damages can be extraordinarily complicated where the homeowner and contractor are at odds about the quality of work performed. 随着时间的推移, Virginia law has developed guidelines to determine what damages are always recoverable as the direct result of breach and what damages may be recoverable due to special circumstances. 这些“直接”损失可以用以下三种主要方法之一来计算:

成本法

承包商违约所造成的缺陷在哪里得到补救, 损害赔偿是根据完成或纠正工作所需的费用计算的. Cost method damages aim to reimburse the owner for the expenses incurred in correcting the contractor's errors, 包括解决问题所需的额外工作和材料的成本. 成本法是确定房屋所有人直接损害赔偿的主要方法. This method will almost always require the hiring of another contractor for the remedial work required to finish the specifications of the contract. The exception to this cost method arises when substantial demolition of the structure is required to bring the structure into compliance with the contract or where the cost to remediate is grossly disproportionate to the benefit conferred to the owner.

值方法

如果缺陷实际上是不可补救的, 要么是由于不可能,要么是由于上述情况, the resulting damage calculation would be based on the difference between the value of the defective structure and the value it would have had if it had been properly completed. Value method damages assess the difference in the property's value before and after the contractor's work. This method aims to compensate the owner for the reduced value caused by the contractor’s errors. 值的方法将经常, 并不总是这样, require the input of an expert in real estate appraisals to determine the value of the expected work under the contract.

特定的性能

金钱赔偿不足以纠正的, 法院可以命令强制履行. This means the court compels the contractor to fulfill their original contractual obligations, 确保工作顺利完成. 因为建筑行业的性质, 具体绩效很少像成本法和价值法那样被授予, 如上所述, 更容易适用于建筑纠纷吗. Where the building or premises in question is so remote or the type of work being performed by the contractor is so unique, specific performance may be reasonable where the chances of finding another contractor capable of the work is near impossible.

后果性(或“特殊”)损害赔偿

除上述传统的直接损害赔偿外, 在某些情况下,可能存在间接损害赔偿. Consequential damages are those damages that arise from the breach due to special circumstances not directly related to the contract and are only compensable when they were within the contemplation of the parties at the time of contracting. A special circumstance is contemplated when it was either actually foreseen by both parties or would have been reasonably foreseeable by a reasonable person in the same position as the parties. Common examples are additional rent payments caused by delay or increased interest payments on a high-interest construction loan. 在建设的背景下, consequential damages are most often seen as the result of delays due to the fault of the contractor, 在什么情况下,延迟给业主造成了某种财务问题. Consequential damages are unique to each case and can cover specific financial losses or hardships suffered by the homeowner due to the contractor's errors. 就像争议解决过程一样, 间接损害赔偿可以调整, 有限的, or eliminated through specific clauses in the contract and are an area of great concern for many contractors.

结论

在错综复杂的业主与承包商纠纷中,了解法律补救措施至关重要. 州法院和替代性争议解决方法提供了不同的解决途径, 每一个都有错综复杂的合同协议. 有效地在这片土地上航行, seeking an attorney becomes a strategic imperative to ensure informed decisions and a fortified home against future uncertainties.

里昂Lascara 是一个皇冠搏彩APP下载 & 科沃德律师专注于建筑法和民事诉讼事务.

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