San Diego has a competitive real estate market. Homes may sell quickly due to the limited number of properties, and the prices they command reflect the premium that comes from living in San Diego County. People will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to remodel or upgrade an existing home since building new in the best locations isn’t often a realistic dream.
Especially if your construction company helps new owners upgrade existing houses, your clients may have unrealistic dreams for a property. How can your business work with its clients while still protecting itself from claims that you failed in your duty?
Educate your clients
One of the most important things you can do is explain to your clients why adding a two-story privacy wall to their beachfront porch is a violation of the current building rules in San Diego. Anything that might interfere with other people’s enjoyment of their property or violate local building ordinances could cause delays in the project.
You may not be able to get the necessary building permits if the plan submitted does not comply with all regulations. If you attempt to push forward anyway, the homeowner could face legal action from the neighbors impacted by their design decisions. When clients understand the possible consequences, they may feel more willing to compromise.
Add a clause to your contract protecting you if their request isn’t possible
You may try to secure a variance or obtain a permit for a project that you know violates building rules in the hope of satisfying your clients. However, you should go into that process acknowledging the possibility of failure.
Having your client sign a contract that includes clauses warning about the delay or expenses involved in seeking a permit for a project that doesn’t get approved will protect you from claims that you broke your agreement with them or did not complete the project as planned.
Especially if you have already discussed with clients how their request impacts the likelihood of securing a permit or might change the timetable or budget for the completion of the project, adding that information in writing to your contract can protect you against that client if they become dissatisfied with the situation later.
Adding the right terms to your construction contracts can protect against litigation and complications when dealing with a high-touch client.