As an Atlanta construction arbitration and home defect lawyer, I feel any person, family or business involved in the residential home building industry should be aware that there have been recent changes to the Georgia Code as it relates to new construction contracts and arbitration clauses. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution, however, unlike mediation, a decision is rendered in favor of one party or the other after a “hearing” or “trial” where an “arbitrator” or “arbitration tribunal” hears evidence, arguments, and other relevant matters and issues concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the new home construction and real estate dispute.

Because nearly every Georgia new construction contract contains a form of arbitration provision, this is important news for everyone in Georgia involved in new construction, building or renovation. This is especially true for the purchasers and buyers of any newly constructed home in the Atlanta area. Businesses and families entering into new construction, building, or renovation contracts should be extremely cautious about clauses that limit the remedy of any new construction or real estate dispute to binding decision via the arbitration process. This is because the Supreme Court of Georgia has recently ruled, arbitration clauses in new construction contracts are legally binding and your sole remedy under Georgia real estate, construction and contract law. In other words, if you feel the decision made by the arbitrator or arbitration tribunal, was legally wrong or flawed, you have no right to appeal to a higher court of law, or any other court of which would have had jurisdiction had there been no arbitration clause in your Georgia real estate construction contract.

Here is a short list of the types of construction defect cases our Firm handles and which are likely subject to Arbitration:

• Roof Problems and Defects • Foundation Problems • Water Leaking, Intrusion and Infiltration • Improper Drainage or Draining Failure • Mold and Defective or Dangerous Air Ventilation
• Improper Grading • Violation of County and State Building Codes • Improper Foundation Placement
• Failure to Diagnose or Set up Safety Features • Improper Stucco or Flooring
• Brick Defects and Mortar Issues • Roof Defects • Building Code Violations • Construction Site Safety • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Inspections and Compliance Reports • Safety Code Violations
• Construction Management • Structural Design Flaws

In order to properly protect your real estate investment, I strongly feel that anyone entering into to a construction contract or a new home building contract should retain a real estate business contract lawyer to review, negotiate, or redraft any real estate construction contracts which are unfair to you or “one-sided” in favor of any other party to the contract. In my opinion, as a Georgia construction law attorney and Atlanta construction lawyer, a “best practice rule” for entering into any new construction contract or real estate building contract, is to hire a real estate business contract attorney or construction lawyer to review and make changes to any Georgia real estate contract to protect your interests and investment.

Likewise, the case may be that you did not know about the arbitration process and now you are stuck with this as your sole remedy against the contractor, builder, homebuyer or home purchaser. In my Atlanta construction arbitration practice, I have found that many clients are shocked to find out they must go through the arbitration process and that this is their sole remedy. Finding this out can be quite upsetting and frustrating when the quality, price, and other issues concerning your home are at stake. This can affect almost all aspects of your life and can cause family disharmony and serious financial problems.

The Libby Law Firm represents individuals, families, businesses, contractors and builders in the arbitration process. If you would like to speak with an Atlanta real estate attorney or Georgia real estate lawyer about your contract, you can reach us at 404-467-8611 or fill out our online contact form. The Libby Law Firm is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, GA near the intersection of Piedmont and Roswell Roads.

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