Your small construction business was just hired for a big remodel. The client has specified what they want to be done and you have made note of the details in your contract, which both of you have signed. As you are working, the client keeps changing their mind about what they want.
The changes to the design and materials have affected everything from the project’s timeline and its cost. Now, your client refuses to pay.
You need to anticipate situations like these.
Part of being a business owner is accepting that disputes will arise from time to time. That’s why it is crucial that you have a detailed contract that covers cost, expected completion date, and has contingencies for unexpected issues. When change orders are put through, you need a system that will keep your agreement up-to-date.
What does “breach of contract” mean?
Breach of contract means failing to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse. Before you began working on the project, you went over the contract with your client.
Their signature means that they understood and accepted those terms. If you documented the change orders properly, they signed those, too. By refusing to pay you, they are in breach of contract and can be held legally accountable.
Fighting a contractual dispute
The most common way to handle a breach of contract is to take the client to court. The best thing that you can do if you find yourself in a situation like this is to seek experienced legal guidance You may have a lot at stake, but litigation doesn’t have to be your first resort.