A friend of mine contracted with a homeowner to perform specific
work over to be completed by September 29th. The pay was to be
$6000. He was paid $1500 to start and just about finished the work
when the homeowner made some excuses and fired him without
any additonal pay. What a scumbag. My buddy has about 1 day
of work left until he should deserve the balance of the contract but
because the work is not done the homeowner claims that he doesn't
have to pay.
I told my friend to both hand deliver and send a certified letter stating
that he wants access to the property to finish the contracted work
or else the full balance of the contract is due.
- Has anyone ever been in this situation ?
- Do you think my advice is good ?
- If he does send the letter it should probably sound as professional
- Is there a standard letter that he should use to notify the homeowner ?
- I tried googling and didn't come up with anything.
Actually, a "lien". Might require a lawyer. Doesn't mean he'll get paid,
but, the house can't be sold (or probably even refinanced) as long as the
lien exists. For the homeowner to remove the he'll have to go to court and
convince a judge to lift it (highly unlikely). Going through the motions
with a lien will probably lead to a settlement offer.
Ok, my friend contracted with the wife of the house because her
regular sub contractor was working for someone else and wasn't
available at the time to do her job. What happened, is that the other
sub came available and the husband wanted to use him instead so he
told the wife to get rid of my buddy. My friend had been doing good
work up until that point and had never even met the husband. The
wife apologized and only said, "sorry".
My son runs a small construction business and sometimes he gets in these
situations. He gives the homeowner a last chance to make things right. If they
don't, he tears out the work he did, making sure to leave enough so that what
he got paid is fair payment for the work done. Unfortunately, many people try
to take advaantage of a small businessman. Yah gotta be tough.
Licensed ? if not this could rule him out of payment
Permitted ? If he worked without a permit if required this may also rule him
out of payment
Homeowner may have been unjustly enrichened by his work a lien or lawsuit
should follow - if his work is done properly and as complete as possible.
In any case a lawyer or a baseball bat would be his next step.
Or he could just walk away and chalk it up to experience.
Absent licenses or permits, the contract is still valid. The contractor
would be liable for those, not the homeowner.
The homeowner is responsible for paying the contractor for the work already
He's thinking that because the contractor is now terminated, he's off the
The contractor can only remedy the situation by court action, or at least
the threat of through an attoney.
That's why there's laws, lawyers and courts.
You do a job in Florida without the proper license and the homeowner owes
And that's the law - period.
Other states may have similar laws, some may not.
And I'm sure there is more education coming to this "contractor"
And most places, the inspector would shut the job down if the permit was not
posted in a highly visible manner. Whoever is legally responsible, is of no
consequence regarding that decision by the inspector. The contractor is the
losing party as well. Most contractors get the applicable permits to
perform the work. Some even put that in the contract. Assumptions
(unwritten) of this are the person's responsibility who made the contractual
agreement with the contractor. Ultimately, the person owning the property
is the one who will assume financial responsibility and legal recourse.
here - in FL- the person/company that pulls the permit is responsible for
Allot of unlicensed people talk the homeowner into pulling the permit so
they can work illegally and have no responsibility for the job.
I imagine that people that move here that lived where the homeowner pulled
the permit get fooled into permitting work for unlicensed workers
It is also against the law for homeowners to hire unlicensed workers
Most permitting in my area takes days or weeks, commercial work requiring
drainage and extensive site work require engineering and may take 6 months.
I know in the Keys it takes years to permit new construction, as in other
parts of the country's heavily populated areas I understand that the process
is also years.
Under those circumstances I can see the homeowner pursuing the permit either
on their own or with an engineer and then finding a contractor, since I
wouldn't spend years working with someone to permit a job before starting
I'm sure every area has different circumstances to deal with and since the
OP never stated where they are located they will only get answers by those
referring to their local experiences and will probably be of little help to
the OP anyway. Butt then again I learned something new today
Take the jerk to court. The homeowner signed a valid contract and thinks he
has the upper hand by firing the contractor. The contractor should send the
homeowner an itemized invoice for all the work perormed first though.
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