unfinished repairs to home by unlicensed coontractor

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I hired a friend (unlicensed) to do repairs to my home. Although no time limit was given, I did expect repairs to be completed within a year. He started repairs Jan 05. Between Jan-Nov 05:I paid him $2500.00; compensated him with loaning him my auto for six weeks, when his was stolen; supplied him with meals (too many to count); ran numerous errands, which included agreeing to purchase City of Phoenix permits for repairs he needed to do for his landlord on the apartment complex's wiring that, was damaged during a thunderstorm; accepted collect phone calls from the County Jail from him in order to assist him in getting his release; agreed to take out a loan for him when he asked me to pay the court a sum of $3300.00, which was the amount the court said needed to be paid before they would issue his release. He was arrested for non payment/child support. During the latter part of 2005, he worked less and less on my repairs. Around Nov 05 the repairs were still incomplete, and it was at that time that he abandoned my project. I tried to contact him by phone everyday for at lease 3 weeks, but he did not return any of my calls. I knew some men who were working with him on another job, and they told me that he had stopped showing up on their job too. After waiting for approximately 4 weeks, I hired someone else to complete the repairs. Before my new repairman could start on my project, he had to clean up the mess and garbage that was left behind. I notified him via mail that it had become obvious to me that he was not going to complete the repairs, that the locks were changed on the doors, and that he could contact me to make arrangements to pick up materials left behind (nothing worth any value) He wrote back after two months, and took no responsib'ty for his actions, in fact, had the audacity to blame me for his not completing the work. He stated that since I went ahead and hired someone else, his job was complete, and I should call him to make arrangements to discuss compensation owed him. I have not contacted him in any way since. A year after of abandoning my project, he showed up at my workplace in Jan 2007 asking me to meet with him to disucss the compensation he felt I owed him. I told him that I would not meet with him, that he must leave, and not to contact me again. I also told him that I did not owe him anything since he quit the job, without the curteosy of a phone call. He tired to argue with me stating that I fired himhe didn'y quit, but I just turned away, and told him again not to contact me again.
MARCH 2007--I have refused 5 cert mail lets.
5/11/07 CERTIFIED LETTER SENT TO MY WORK PLACE (WAS OUT TO LUNCH WHEN MAIL ARRIVED) supervisor TOLD ME IT WAS FROM xxxxx AND HE DID NOT ACCEPT IT.

SPEAK WITH ME. ONLY AFTER I REFUSED TO SPEAK WITH THIS PERSON UNLESS HE IDENTIFIED HIMSELF DID HE STATE HIS NAME. I ASKED supervisor TO TAKE CALL. supervisor RELAYED TO ME THAT xxxx WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ME BY 5 PM TODAY! HE STATED THAT HE KNOWS THAT I AM SELLING MY TOWNHOUSE, THAT I AM CLOSING ON THE 24TH OF THIS MONTH BECAUSE HE SPOKE WITH MY REALTOR, AND IF I DO NOT CONTACT HIM BY 5 PM HE WILL TELL MY REALITOR THAT I HAD A MOLD PROBLEM IN MY HOUSE (DUE TO A PIPE BURSTING WHILE I WAS ON A TWO WEEK VACATION).
FACT: MY HOUSE IS NOT UP FOR SALE. I DO NOT HAVE A REALTOR. ANY MOLD IN THE TOWNHOUSE WAS TAKEN CARE OF. MY NEIGHBORS, TWO HOUSES WEST OF MINE, HAVE THEIR HOUSE UP FOR SALE.
5/14 XXXX CALLED MY BOSS TO LET HIM KNOW I SHOULD EXPECT PROCESSS SERVER TODAY. LEFT JOB WENT TO COURT AND WAS AWARDED RESTRAINING ORDER (JUDGE COULDN'T BELIEVE IT). GOT SERVED ON WED... XXX WANTS 10K. LISTED NUMEROUS INVOICES, NONE MORE THAN $750 EACH. I THINK HE BELIEVES HE CAN AVOID BEING REQUIRED TO HAVE LICENSE DUE TO THE AMOUNT BEING UNDER $1000. HAD MY NEIGHBORS ADDRESS LISTED AS PLACE HE PERFORMED WORK AT. I WILL WAIT THE 20 DAYS AND REPLY TO THE COURT THAT I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE DUE TO FACT THAT I AM NOT THE LEGAL OWNER OF PROPERTY LISTED ONN PAPERS SERVED ME. HE'LL HAVE TO DO MORE RESEACH, AND I AM THINKING ABOUT HIRING ATTORNEY. ANY SUGGESTIONS OUT THERE?
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It may be late to do this, but that is the *only* avenue for you at this stage. What you did was foolish, you should never have let it go to the extent that it has.
Get that lawyer NOW. He may well try to put a lien on the property, and you must be prepared as if he does it will end up in court.
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I'd definitely get an attorney. His listing the wrong address isn't necessarily going to save you---he could probably just say oops, I got the address wrong on the paperwork. Of course, he is just trying to scare you into paying him. Seems like the first question would be, who breached the contract first? Seems like a nut, but then again, I'd be talking with an attorney.
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I will be hiring an attorney this week to handle the matter, but what do you mean when you said what I did was foolish? As far as letting it go, he waited for over one year to contact me. I never received any bills or invoices and I did asked him repeatedly to let me paid him for his work, but he insisted that he would bill me when all the work was done.
PeterD wrote:

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We never had a written contract, just an oral one. Who breached the contract first? I believe abandoning the job for three weeks and not returning any phone calls, and knowing that he had abandoned another job he was working on, was a breach on his part. I don't know too much about the law, but have read up on regulations with the ROC, this section applies to work performed on projects costing over $1000 for labor and materials:
32-1153. Proof of license as prerequisite to civil action
No contractor as defined in section 32-1101 shall act as agent or commence or maintain any action in any court of the state for collection of compensation for the performance of any act for which a license is required by this chapter without alleging and proving that the contracting party whose contract gives rise to the claim was a duly licensed contractor when the contract sued upon was entered into and when the alleged cause of action arose. Either way, Looks like I will be hiring an attorney.
sadie wrote:

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On Sat, 19 May 2007 17:48:57 +0000, sadie via HomeKB.com wrote:

An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
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wrote:

Mistake one! <g> (A huge one, too... (sorry))

Since there was, in reality, no valid contract...

Three weeks, or a year? Which is it?

What did your contract say about non-performance? Nothing, right? Yes, I understand how this oral contract was--see 'em all the time!
I think you see why a (good) written contract is absolutely vital for anything that is non-trivial. In court 'he said, she said' doesn't get very far. What ends up happening is the court (judge) ends up siding with the party that he feels is telling the most accurate story that represents that that party is in the right.

Yup! Probably should have done that before you started any work, but that's past now. WHen they talk $1000 that's the total job. Have/did you pay more than $1000? Is he asking for more than $1000?
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Three weeks or one year? OK, let me explain. He was working only 2 to 3 hours per week from Sep to Dec 05. The last time he performed any repairs was at the beginning of Jan 06. After trying to reach him everyday for weeks, on January 29th I hired someone else to complete the repairs. I wrote him and told him this. The next time I saw him is when he came to my workplace in Jan 07 wanting money. Did I pay him more than $1000?
I paid him $2500 (plus compensated him other ways. One for example.. His car was stolen with alot of tools in it. I loaned him the use of my vehicle for six weeks and bought him about $300 dollars worth of tools.)
He sent a certifed letteraddressed to my company and inside was a letter to me with a statement! On the statement he lists invoice #'s and next to the #'s are costs - none is higher than $750.00. Total cost charged is $10,000.00, but again, no invoice higher than $750.00. No breakdowns, nothing itemized, etc, just this letter telling me the balance due and that this was a final notice. I never received any invoices, any notices.
I should have listened to advise someone told me a long time ago, which is very very true. You can't cheat an honest man. That says more than I ever thought it did.
PeterD wrote:

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from
So a total of about 13 weeks x 3 hours = 39 hours or about one weeks work for $2800+6 weeks car hire. Not a bad hourly rate.
Whats on his invoice exactly? How on earth could he have used $10,000 worth of materials in 39 hours doing minor repairs?
Speak to an attourney, explain the situation and have the attorney write a letter telling where to get off. That should do the trick at minimal cost. Here in the UK that would cost you <$150.
How much is car hire over there? You Perhaps have your attorney deny his invoices and counter claim for the car hire at commercial rates and return of the tools you lent him for good measure.
I wonder if the roofer declared the car and tools on his tax return?
I wonder if the value of the tools he told you matches the value he told his insurance company?
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Why do you say that? Read up on basic contract law. An oral contract is still a contract.

This is easy advice to give, but I don't know many people who draw up contracts for small jobs. At most, they just spell out the scope of work, the price, be it a fixed price or time and materials, and a pre lien notice. Hard to imagine that if you are hiring a friend to do some work you would hire a lawyer to draw up a 5 page document that spells out "if the contractor leaves the job for three weeks such and so happens." That just isn't realistic.
Seems like this is mostly about a personal relationship gone awry. The OP needs to protect herself by consulting an attorney.
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This is very personal. I'm upset about being taking advantage of, and he probably feels the same way. I am getting close to retiring and my plan was to fix up my house, sell it, and have a nest egg. The market went south and I will wait until it starts up again before I sell it. For him to call my office and tell my supervisor that he knows I'm closing on the 24th, spoke with my realtor, and thinks it would be a good idea if I called him by 5 p.m., because he does not want to let the realtor know that I had a mold problem is a threat and you're right it is personal. I have read up on statutes in my state and it says that unlicenses contractors have no legal rights period. I may have tried to come to an agreement with him, but since the threat.... He willl deal with my attorney.
marson wrote:

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he
No it's clear from his actions that he doesn't. There are too many people around these days willing to exploit the vunerable. I think you have been way too generous lending him a car and replacing his tools. Were they really even stolen?
I'm very glad to hear you have spoken to an atorney.
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marson wrote:

True, but it is very hard to prove that you ever had the oral contract. That is the crux of it. There are several tests to establish the presence of a contract and in the case of an oral contract, these tests are hard to meet.
Matt
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Read, again, what I said: no *VALID* contract.
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wrote:

Looks like a good case for Judge Judy! <rolling eyes...>
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you
It's never a good idea to hire a friend or a bancrupt.
Definitly speak to an attourny. I don't wish to alarm you but have you considered that he might be stalking you?
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I felt that he was not only stalking me, but harassing me at my workplace. I went to court and petitioned for a restraining order, which I was granted. I hired a process service on Thursday, and hopefully he will be served by Monday. Please don't think that I am trying to get out of paying a debt, because that's not what this is about. As I earlier stated, I have known this person since 1984 and we had been good friends. When he was arrested in 2005, he called me from jail (collect of course) and asked if I could help him with his fine. I paid the court $3300 (for back child support), against the advice of many people who we both have worked with (& I still do). They told me not to do it, that he was a loser. But I was a friend and that's what friends do. I have to laugh at the irony of it, since these people who advised me to leave him in jail are the ones he called to give them a "friendly heads- up' that he had filed a suit against me and that a process server would be coming to the office to serve me. So, I am willing to go to court and let the judge decide if he is entitled to any more compensation. I will tell my side, and let the court know of his antics, harassment, and threats. Everyone tells me that he is in the wrong, abandoning the job, contracting without a license, trying to skirt around the ROC'S rules & regs, and no written contract, but I am still neverous about this whole episode. If he would have told me he couldn't finish the job, and that I needed to get someone else, than I would have paid him what was owed and go on from there. But to just stop working on the repairs in the middle of them, and not return any phone calls, and then to show up after one year without an explanation or an apology was just too much. I feel like he took advantage of our friendship and betrayed me. Thx for listening.....
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workplace.
be
of
No that's clear. It seems clear to me you have been more than generous.

I'm afraid I agree.
Best wishes from the other sid of the pond.
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wrote:

(please do not top post!)
1. Hired a friend without a proper contract? 2. Didn't set deadlines and performance specifications? 3. Waited a really long time for a non-performing contractor to contact you? 4. Treated a contractor as a friend. Remember: contractors are employees, not friends. And never, ever, hire friends.
The above reply seems to imply that you felt that you still owed him money? IF that is so, then you should pay it--making 100% sure you document that he has been paid in full, and that all suppliers and sub-contractors have also been paid, etc.
But...
I'm sure the lawyer will straighten things out for you. Then be careful when hiring 'friends' and make sure they are professionals! <bg>
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It's not hard for a con-man to convince someone they owe them money.
She had already paid $2,800 (plus six weeks car hire) for about 39 hours work. Now a year later he turned up to demand $10,000 for a list of things for which he hasn't provided reciepts or invoices. I smell a rat.
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