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Legal options for addressing construction defects

Property owners invest considerable resources in remodeling and construction projects. Therefore, financial damages can be substantial when things go wrong with a job. Denying final payment to a contractor might not solve the problem if the contractor retaliates with a mechanic's lien. People in Missouri confronted by shoddy work, defective materials, contractor disputes and abandoned work sites have a variety of options for filing complaints and seeking a resolution.

A person experiencing trouble with a licensed contractor can complain to the state's contractor licensing board. The organization might try to solve the problem. Ideally, a complaint filed by a property owner would include a timeline of events, photographs, canceled checks and copies of work contracts.

A bonded contractor provides an unsatisfied customer with another option. The client can approach the bonding agent that placed a financial guaranty upon the contractor. A claim on a bond could result in payment for property damage and bad workmanship.

Alternatively, people can file consumer complaints through the state's attorney general's office. A small claims court might provide another venue for addressing problems under a certain dollar amount. Individuals can initiate this process themselves.

Larger financial disputes might benefit from legal representation. If necessary, the client could consult a lawyer familiar with construction law. After studying the details of the contract, an attorney could suggest strategies for resolving the dispute. This effort might involve private negotiations led by the lawyer or filing a lawsuit. An attorney could organize documentation about construction defects or a failure to complete work. This evidence could support the process of financial recovery.

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Our condo association was faced with monumental construction issues thanks to the original developer of our complex. We were cash poor and in no position to get legal representation without a contingency fee arrangement. Luckily for us, Scott Long and Burke Robinson were willing to take us on as clients. Their work ethic, professionalism and knowledge of condominium construction served our association very well. Any association would be well served in hiring these gentlemen to represent them.

Board of Directors - Plaza Gardens on the Lake Condominium Owners’ Association Lake of the Ozarks, MO

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