I signed a contract with a company that was going to do some work on my house. I have already put money down on the job. However, the agreement states that the job WILL be completed between date A and date B. But, I saw a later statement in the contract that says the job will be completed approximately between date A and date B. The date has already passed for when the job was to be completed. Am I obligated to stay with this company based on the confusing terms in the agreement?
Am I obligated to stay with this company based on the confusing terms in the agreement?
It is hard to answer that question without knowing the status of the job (meaning, work progress) and whether any other clauses may be relevant to your inquiry. Thus, I would limit my answer only to how contract ambiguities are handled in a dispute.
If the company is the draftsman of the contract, the doctrine of contra proferentem entitles you to adopt the [reasonable] interpretation that favors your position regarding an ambiguity. This doctrine is cognizable in many jurisdictions, including the U.S., Canada, various countries in Europe and Asia.
By virtue of the same doctrine, if you are the one who drafted the contract, then the company can stick to the term of approximately between date A and date B so as to allege that the ambiguity entitles it to some reasonable flexibility beyond date B.
The statements are not contradictory. They both require the work to be done between the two dates.
If the contract contains other terms that allow the dates to be changed then those should have been followed.
Not starting and finishing between the two dates is a breach of contract but it is unlikely to be one that would justify termination. Time breaches only justify termination if they are egregious or the contract specifically says the do (time is of the essence).
By failing to meet the dates time is probably “at large” which means that the work must be done within a reasonable time.