If a contract has failed to complete work as provided for in the construction project, a real estate owner may have several legal options, but informal resolution if the issue should be the first. If you can get the contractor to fix the problem, then both parties can be satisfied without resorting to a breach of contract lawsuit or a complaint to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (“ROC”).
However, if negotiations have failed, filing a complaint with the ROC can be an effective way to get a contractor to take action to solve your problem. The ROC has the authority to order a licensed contractor to complete the work or suspend the contractor’s license.
To file a complaint, use the form on the ROC website and complete the information be providing a copy of your construction contract, proof of payment, and contract information for you and the contractor. You must separately allege each complaint item you have against the contractor, and you have two years from the date of the violation to file a complaint.
Once the ROC receives your complaint, they will send an inspector to examine the worksite and meet with the owner and the contractor. If the work is unworkmanlike or incomplete, the inspector will issue a corrective work order that requires the contractor to fix the issues. If you the work is then completed properly, you can send the ROC a written notice, and they will close the case.
If, however, you still are not satisfied the ROC will send an inspector back to the worksite. The homeowner can ask the inspector to set a hearing, where the owner will have the burden of showing that the contractor failed to meet the legal standards set for licensed contractors. If the contractor’s license is suspended or revoked, the homeowner may be able to submit a claim for compensation for the ROC Residential Recovery Fund. The maximum that the homeowner can receive from the fund is $30,000.
Complaining to the ROC can be a faster and less formal solution to a construction dispute than filing a lawsuit in superior court, but the limit on damages may not be sufficient to compensate the homeowner in all cases.
Chernoff Law handles business and real estate litigation matters throughout Arizona. Contact us to discuss your case with an experienced real estate attorney.