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Dealing with issues involving construction defects in Maryland

When a new home is built in a defective manner, the homeowner may believe that the contractor who built the home is liable for that defect. There are a variety of allegations that can be made, including that the contractor engaged in negligent behavior, breached a contract between the two parties or acted in a fraudulent manner.

The law states that a contractor must have the proper skills to do the job correctly. Furthermore, the law states that the contractor has a duty of care that extends to anyone who may be damaged, which may include future owners of the home. Contractors are generally responsible for the work of a subcontractor. If the contractor is found to be in breach of contract, the contractor may be subject to the substantial performance doctrine. This may require the buyer to be liable for the contract price of them home less the diminishment in value of the home caused by the defect.

To prove that a contractor engaged in fraud, it needs to be established that the builder was never going to follow any construction plans for the home. If a homeowner claims that something was misrepresented by the builder, it needs to be established that the builder said something that it knew or had reason to believe was not true.

During construction disputes, a homeowner may wish to resolve the conflict either through informal talks or through a trial. Regardless of what a homeowner chooses to do, it may be possible to have legal representation during the resolution process. This may make it easier to obtain compensation or other relief as allowed by the terms of the contract or applicable law.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Liability for Construction Defects", accessed on Feb. 9, 2015

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