How Building Code Violations Affect a Contractor’s Business

A building code violation can impact a contractor in several ways.  It can exposing the the contractor to liability and damage their reputation. They could suffer financial losses, as well as a suspension or revocation of their contractor’s license.

A construction contract often includes a clause stating that the contractor will perform their work in a “workmanlike manner”. In Dillig v. Fisher, the Arizona Court of Appeals stated that a violation of building codes by a contractor implied that the work was not performed in a workmanlike manner. As a result, a violation of building codes may lead to a breach of contract claim.

Furthermore, a claim for negligence can be based upon a building code violation. The elements of a negligence claim must exist, including a duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages.  If they do, this is a separate approach from the breach of contract claim.

A contractor may attempt to defend themselves if the building code violation was in the architect’s specifications. In these cases, the language of the construction contract can be the determining factor in allocating the responsibility for building code violations among the participants in the project.

It can often be difficult to figure out whether an architect or contractor is responsible for a defect that results in a building code violation. A real estate lawyer can help evaluate construction contracts to manage risks related to defects in the plans and specifications.

Building Code Violations Impact a Contractor’s Reputation

A contractor’s license can be affected by a building code violation. All contractors in Arizona must be licensed. A contractor can have their license suspended or revoked by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors just for work deficiencies, including failing to comply with the building code. The Registrar can order the contractor to repair any building code violations, and a failure to comply with these orders can result in a fine.  Litigation can result from workmanship deficiencies.  The public record of Registrar complaints and litigation can have a significant impact on a contractor’s reputation.

Chernoff Law Firm provides unique solutions to your business or real estate disputes. If you need to discuss your issue with an experienced real estate lawyer, call our office in Maricopa County at 480-719-7307.

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