Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sick of RRP? It's Still Time to Update Your Contract

So am I.  Really.  All this talk about RRP and it feels like nothing's changed. The threatened fines have not really transpired, and today doesn't feel any different from yesterday.  I can speak about Massachusetts, but  Wisconsin, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Rhode Island,Utah, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Alabama now have their own state's laws, and I am not sure what is happening there in terms of enforcement.  RRP has done one good thing, though.  It has encouraged contractors to review all of their business practices and make sure that their contracts protect them.

Quite honestly, I tried to market my legal services to contractors reviewing their contracts a number of years ago.  I could not get anyone interested.  Business was booming and contractors had a backlog of work.  Then, two things happened.  The construction industry became one of the hardest hit by the economic downturn, and RRP went into effect.  Homeowners and contractors also began fighting about smaller amounts of money and contractors who had never been sued were finding themselves as defendants.

I wasn't happy about the reason, but I was glad to be given the opportunity to review contractor's contracts.  I found that many were not in compliance with state law, and that contractors frequently did not have clauses entitling them to their attorney's fees if they had to go after homeowners for payment.  They didn't include the right to collect interest for late payment, or bases for terminating the contract.

So, as I became an expert in the Lead Law, I developed clauses to help protect contractors when dealing with RRP as well.  I also came to the decision that I should charge the way contractors charge, with flat fees rather than hourly billing for my contracts.

One of the things that scares the public about hiring lawyers is that their fees are unknown.  I decided it is better to make my fees transparent.  So, for $495.00, I will send you my lead paint clauses.  If you want me to review your contract, e-mail it to me.  I will review it and let you know if it needs work and make sure it is in compliance with your state's law.  I will have an attorney from your state double-check if I am not as familiar with your state.  

A home contractor/homeowner renovation contract and contractor/subcontractor contract is $1375.00.

Add a residential new construction contract and the total price is $1950.00.

I will provide quotes for additional contracts and/or states.

I also send out newsletters with additional information about construction law.  Please e-mail me if you would like to receive my newsletter.  My e-mail is ajg@andreagoldmanlaw.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.