I am an architect designed 2 construction jobs and hired as inspection party. After 2 years, one client didn’t follow plan and finished work completely different . Another client never finished work but already opened his store for over 1 year.
I asked them to correct but they did not listen. I don’t want to deal with these 2 clients anymore. If I withdraw my application from building department, building department will immediately issue violations to these 2 clients for “work without permit”.
if so, can these clients sue me breach of initial contract (our initial contract says I will work until job signoff) or damage their business? Am I legal to withdraw these application if clients don’t follow my instructions?What will be my liability if I remain as design and inspection applicant
Dear New York Architect:
The contract should spell out your obligations, rights, liabilities as well as the owner's. You negotiated the contract with these owner's so you know that pulling the rug out from their projects will cause harm, where none is needed, since you were paid for your work. If the DOB requires that you sign off on the finished projects even though the as complete deviated with the approved plans, then you may have a right under the contracts to withhold your certification.
Allow your attorney to help you with a review of these contracts. Perhaps you had the power to pull the plan as soon as the owner did not follow the plan (that is did not follow the plan you filed) and your delay may implicate you in promoting a false filing with the DOB.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
Your rights and responsibilities with regards to your customer are going to be guided by your contract. First look there to determine whether you may withdraw from the project, etc. Second, as a registered design professional you have certain obligations to the general public. Did you sign any TR1s? If so, have not notified the DOB of any changes from your design? Did you perform any special inspections and, if so, notify the DOB of any non-compliance/deviations? You also have an obligation under the Rules and Regulations for Architect's to notify certain people of deviations that may be deemed dangerous. You should absolutely consult with an attorney right away to determine what your rights and responsibilities are and whether you have any reporting obligations.
The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by this answer. You should consult with a local attorney regarding your specific situation to obtain legal advice.
Would you approve a set of plans without seeing them? Would you give architectural advice on a project in which you were not involved, for free? Well, you are asking us to advise you regarding contracts that we haven't seen, and to give you advice for free. We don't mind giving the public information as to legal concepts and procedures, but the advice you are seeking requires in-depth analysis. This is important enough to hire a lawyer for an office consultation. Legal advice that is given for free is worth the price.
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