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Time to Move - Maybe

Office_move The Excited Business Owner
Acme Printing has been waiting to get into their new office space that Tooltime Contractors is constructing for them.  The problem is, Acme’s current lease expires in a week and Tooltime Contractors is feeling the pressure to get the job done before Acme moves in.   

The Dilemma
You guessed it. Acme Printing decides that the office space is completed enough for them to move in over the weekend.  I know this doesn’t sound like much of a problem.  But for the insurance agent who does nothing but read policy language and have nightmares about losses this is an ulcer waiting to happen. 

Monday arrives, Tooltime Contractors shows up to work on the building and finds Acme Printing moved in and working away. 

This is not a good situation for the Tooltime Contractors but it does happen. 

At the end of the day, the owner of Acme Printing stays a little late and turns on the furnace because it is getting colder.  The problem is the exhaust vent is not hooked up and the owner gets very sick from the carbon monoxide.

Who should be concerned Tooltime Contractors or Acme Printing?  I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal but let’s look a little deeper.

You would think that Acme Printing would now assume responsibility if something went wrong but it is a completed operations hazard for Tooltime Contractors. 

Should Tooltime tell Acme they can’t be there because the work isn’t completed? As soon as Acme moves in, the work is considered completed because it is being put to its intended use - regardless of whether Tooltime Contractors has actually finished the work.

That means that Tooltime is liable for any mishaps that result from the work they were doing.

What’s the moral of the story? If you’re a contractor, you’ll need to make sure the work is completed on your terms. That may mean addressing some sticky situations with your customer who may feel rushed – or simply excited – about moving into their new or renovated space.

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