A quick brief on Construction Law for Property Owners

Construction Law deals primarily with contract law and covers all aspects of the legal process, from the initial bidding on the project, to the negotiation and the formation of the agreements and contracts. Misunderstanding the construction law will lead to a series of disputes which by itself can lead to complicated litigation.

The single most common cause of construction litigation for most construction projects is delay. Delays may flow from one contractor or trade to another, causing a domino effect that can lead to a very expensive conclusion. After all, time is money, and delays on commercial projects can mean thousands or even millions in lost revenues to the property owner.

A construction lien is a very important subject in a construction law that is usually recommended to be understood by construction stakeholders. A construction lien gives builders, contractors, and suppliers legal way out to get paid for their work as well as any materials or supplies purchased for a project. This option is in the form of a right to interfere with the owner’s ability to convey clear title to their real property and/or to foreclose the construction lien to take title to that property.

Another very important subject in construction law is about building codes. Building codes establish standards for the construction of buildings and other structures. Virtually every structure in a modern building is subject to at least one, and usually several different building codes.

Major construction project stakeholders are advised to be familiar with basic construction law such as worker’s compensation for workers who may be injured while working in construction, and laws related to delays in construction. Because there is so much diversity in construction law depending on the state and the types of projects, owners are advised to speak with an attorney who specializes in the appropriate field. Hiring an attorney who has expertise in this complex field will help avoid disputes, understand and avoid construction liens, understand building codes, and more.


Email: metassebiahz@gmail.com Metassebia Hailu is a Consultant & Attorney-at-Law (Ethiopia) Ph.D. Student (Center for African & Oriental Studies - Addis Ababa University)