by Karen Ensley Board-Certified Construction Law Attorney
Managing people, processes and product can be the biggest collective hassle in your organization, robbing you of the time, energy and money you need to grow the business. Simplify management by using these proven, effective strategies.
Billing for Your Work
As soon as you have completed the work, bill for it. If you have not been provided with a written change order, bill the work separately via a work or service ticket.
Start tracking payment. You must give notice to the owner of this unpaid work whether or not a change order has been issued. Notice deadlines are based on when the work was done, not when you’re “allowed” to bill for it. Failure to give timely notice eliminates your right to seek payment for this work directly from the owner.
Listen to your gut. If you have a bad feeling about payment, consider sending your notices earlier than you otherwise normally would. While repeat and referral work is important, be cautious about foregoing sending proper notices, especially on a large job. Remember that for private work, you are trapping funds. Don’t be afraid to send “early” notices.
Protect your right to payment by ensuring that you are sending timely bond claims and lien notices. A lien that isn’t “right” or didn’t trap any funds can cost you. Follow up with phone calls. If you are not being paid, don’t be afraid to call the owner or lender and ask for status of payment.
Watch out for lien releases that include new and different obligations, such as new or differing indemnification obligations, additional warranty obligations, personal guarantees, or terms that may waive the right to payment for disputed work. This is often seen with lien releases that are effective through a date that does not match the draw for which payment is being made.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on developing your business to meet your goals.
© Karen Ensley and Brian Benitez, Ensley Benitez Law, PC, 2021. All rights reserved. This article is provided for educational reasons exclusively and is not meant to be construed as legal advice. Ensley Benitez Law, PC, will represent you only after being retained and that agreement is made in writing.