Construction and Property Damage
I recently acquired new clients who sustained severe property damage to their home. The insurance companies are denying their claims and they are quite frustrated in trying to get reimbursed for their damages. The main problem in proving their damages is that they are having trouble proving that the damages that occurred as a result of the other parties' actions. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and the clients wish that they had taken pictures and documented the condition of the house before the work started.
This made me realize that it is in a homeowner's and the contractor's best interest for the parties to document the condition of the house before work begins. In landlord-tenant law, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a "Statement of Present Condition" in order to collect on the security deposit if there are damages at the end of the tenancy. If a homeowner is going to make claims against a contractor, it would be worthwhile to establish the condition of the premises at the beginning, so it will be easier to prove new damages later on. The homeowner should therefore take some pictures, and do a walk through with the contractor and note down problematic areas before the work begins That way, the contractor will be protected from unfair claims as well.