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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 97965
Experience:  Lawyer
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Im a contractor in Edmonton Alberta, I was red by a

Customer Question

Hi Im a contractor in Edmonton Alberta, I was hired by a contractor to perform some work for a residence. When it came time to pay the bill i invoiced the contractor and he gave me a personal cheque from the homeowner. There was a small hold on the original invoices as well the contractor made changes to the original plan resulting in extra charges.These extra charges were invoiced to the customer directly as well as the remainder from the original invoice due to the fact the homeowner took responsibility for the original payment. The contractor mislead us and had no involvement in payment other than the original invoice was sent to him.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

When did you substantially complete the work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The rough in stage was complete back in a few months ago then the homeowner contacted me to finish the final stage on octiober 8th and i finished the job on october 17th. I should also mention that there is an item in the home malfunctioning but ive declined to do anymore further work until payments are made. What do you advise
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also the contractor in no way contacted me for the finishing stage and the homeowner took over the delagation
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

What I suggest you do is tell the contractor and the homeowner that if you are not paid, in full and it once, you will register a lien on title.

You can register a builder's lien on title to the property so long as you do so within 45 days of having substantially completed the work.

You then have 180 days more to start a lawsuit.

A lien is a powerful tool so you should use it. Just the threat of the lien is likely going to be enough to get you paid.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thats what i was planning on doing since im in the time frame my only issue is that the contractor has dissapeared and not responding to communications. Does the homeowner hold all the responsibility of payment since she paid me initial proving some form of agreement of work? We basically didn't have any form of legal agreement other than the estimates and invoices and timesheets proving out date of work. Also is it worth the money to start a law suit after the lien is registered as the balance is $1477.54 would I need a lawyer to start the process? What kind of recourse does the homeowner have if a lien is register against them? Thanks for the help
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

The homeowner is only going to be liable to you up to the holdback amount.

It may be worth your while to have a lawyer send a letter to the homeowner and to the contractor if the contractor can be found as this may in itself work.

Registering the lien may work as well. So wht don't play it by ear and see what transpires in the next while.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have another question regarding a lien. If I register a lien does it open the door to other legal issues with the client for instance can they open a lawsuit against my company for registering the lien itself? Or does the legal means of a lien protect me from such action? For the cost of the job itself I don't want to escalate the situation and have unnecessary legal bills and actions against me.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

They will have no basis for suing you so long as you are owed money for the work you did. The law is clear in terms of your rights.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the worst case scenario is that after 180 days if they do not pay and If I don't not want to pay the costs of going to court. I shouldn't have any additional legal issues with the homeowner?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is correct.

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