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Most important legal clause in every MN subcontractor agreement

Every contractor who hires subcontractors should have written agreements with each trade partner. And the most important provision in these agreements should  ensure that the subcontractors warrant their work for 10 years.

Minnesota's 10-Year Warranty Law makes contractors responsible for their projects for a decade. But the obligation does not extend to the subcontractors unless the written subcontractor agreement explicitly says so. Putting it in the contract also ensures the subcontractor's insurance policy will pay for problems because policies inherently cover the company's contractual obligations.

Although oral contracts are legally enforceable, it is difficult to prove terms. A proper, signed written agreement, by comparison, lays out terms both parties accepted. It's important to get the subcontractor to sign the agreement before he starts work, not just before he gets paid.

The statutory warranty is one year on workmanship, two years on mechanical, and 10 years on structural defects from failure to follow code-approved building practices. However, workmanship defects can be discovered in year 10 and be actionable if they are found to have existed from the first year.

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