Do Contractors Have An Obligation To Complete Their Work Within A Certain Time Period?



Video Summary

Do contractors have a liability or an obligation to complete their work within a certain time period? We direct you to whatever contract you entered into with the contractor. Most contracts are fairly open-ended ... although, the answer to it is, the contract would dictate it. They cannot just drag it on forever. If that's the case, where they're not doing it in a timely fashion, or, you haven't seen them, or they haven't showed up for 30 days, it could be considered that they have abandoned the job.

You can then notify them that they have a certain amount of time in which to complete the job, or else you're going to terminate their services and retain the services of someone else to complete the job. That way you would hold them responsible for whatever the cost would be that you had to pay over and above the contract amount. When they're supposed to perform is dictated by a contract.

My experience has been it's very difficult to get a contractor to agree to a certain time period, and have them put in there ... or, furthermore, even if you do have a time period, or a time when they're supposed to have it done subject to rain delays and acts of God or hurricanes, or whatever, there's no penalty if they run over. You don't want to have to fire them or whatever as far as that's concerned so you almost get in a desperate situation.

In my career it's been very few times that I've been able to put in a contract between an individual and a contractor that there's penalty, of, say, $100 a day for every day that they don't have the job done, that they agree to pay. I have had some contractors say, "Well, if ... I'll tell you what. We'll give you that penalty clause in there that's $100 day for every day past this, but, you also have to give us a bonus for $100 day for every day that we get it done before the deadline."

It's very difficult to negotiate a penalty. Most contracts should or do have some sort of time period. If you're dealing with work orders or something, or an insurance company is hiring the contractor, that's difficult, because you can't, then, terminate them or fire them because you're not the one that contracted them to do the services.

If they've abandoned the job or haven't shown up for thirty days, I think that you probably have reason to demand or terminate their contract for ... abandoned the job and hire a new contractor. Of course there's economics of all involved with that. It may cost you more to get it done, and the contractor may not be solvent, or, you may not want to spend the money on a lawyer to try and recover the additional costs.

If you have some questions, I don't know that I can answer them for you, as far as when do they have to have it done? Give me a call at 727-847-2288.