I am replacing an exterior deck. I've had several contractors out to give quotes, accepted an estimate from one, and am now in the position of signing (or not) a contract for the work. It's a lump sum contract (the job is small, 1-2 days of work) and contains the following language in a section titled Acceptance and Occupancy:
- Upon completion, the project shall be inspected by the Owner and the Contractor, and any repairs necessary to comply with the contract documents shall be made by the Contractor.
- The Owner shall not occupy the property until final payment has been received by the Contractor and a Certificate of Occupancy has been obtained.
- Occupancy of the project by the Owner in violation of (2) shall constitute unconditional acceptance of the project and a waiver of any defects or uncompleted work.
I have several misgivings about this section:
- "The property" is currently occupied and we will continue to occupy it for the duration of the work, which is entirely exterior.
- The Contractor is not explicitly obligated by the contract to provide the Certificate of Occupancy to the Owner (it must only "be obtained").
- The city website under Inspections and Certificates states that "Certificates of Occupancy or Compliance are not issued for Residential structures."
Based on a few other errors in the contract (which I have marked and will send back to the contractor before signing), I suspect this clause is boilerplate from a standard contract they use for larger jobs.
Is this clause typical for small exterior construction like a deck/staircase?
Should I be concerned if the contractor refuses to amend it before signing?