As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

Contracts with Homeowners-The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Law

  1. Provide homeowners with a checklist that verifies that they have received the Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools pamphlet, they have seen the contractor’s firm and renovator certification, and they understand that the certified renovator will be on site when signs are posted, when the work-area containment is being established and when the post-renovation cleaning verification (dust wipe test) is performed. The certified renovator will be reachable by cell phone at other times. Consider whether to give your cell phone number to the homeowner.
  2. Let homeowners know that any requests for testing, abatement, or third-party cleaning verification will result in a written change order that that is signed by the parties that will reflect an increase in the contract price and a change in the date of completion.
  3. Inform homeowners that any conditions that affect containment procedures (high winds, prior lead dust and paint chips at the site) will result in a written change order that is signed by the parties that will reflect an increase in the contract price and a change in the date of completion.
  4. Even if homeowners say that no children under 6 or pregnant women are present in the home, or the home was built after 1978, the contractor should exercise due diligence and check records at the Registry of Deeds or the town tax assessor’s office to verify the date of construction. They should also make a reasonable inquiry regarding visitors, ages of children living outside the home who visit frequently and may be pregnant, etc.
  5. Remove “broom clean condition” clauses from your contract.

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