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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 14566
Experience:  13 years experience in Consumer Protection law, in particular construction law and auto repo law
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I hired a contractor to do several jobs at my home. 1. Replace

Resolved Question:

I hired a contractor to do several jobs at my home. 1. Replace shingles on roof, 2. Repair, paint and replace as needed facia and soffit, 3. Replace gutters, and 4. repair and replace as needed to level and stabilize foundation.

The foundation was supposed to be done first, however they started with the roof and put on the wrong color shingles on the whole house. They removed the gutters from home, when I discovered the roof was the wrong color, I stopped them from continuing. The painter was supposed to fix facia and soffit, when I was told the contractor said no, that he was going to give me back my money. However, they sent a certificate of completion to the insurance company for work that had not been completed. In the meantime, the paint is coming off the flashing around the chimney and the tar or whatever they used is smeared all on the outside of the flashing. What is my recourse, I don't think I want them to do anymore work on my house. Although they were contracted to do the foundation, the owner stated his sales represented was overzealous and has since been fired. Help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there.

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First, you should tread lightlty with them for a little while because a building or remodeling contractor has the right to place a lien on your house in NC for up to 90 days after the last work that is performed at the property. I have seen many unscrupulous contractors place a lien when they have no legal right to do so (they do not have to go to court -- they simply write up a lien and file it with the registry of deeds in your county and then it becomes a cloud on your title that you have to clear up if you want to refinance the property or sell the property -- even if the lien is not valid you still have to make an application to a local court to ask the court to issue an order removing the lien). So, I suggest that you do not let this contractor back onto your property to complete any work they claim they want to complete and send them a written notice cancelling the contract and demanding a refund of your money for the mistakes that were made by the original person who did the work and for the breaches of contract that happened when they failed to do the work promised and failed to honor the second agreement that would take care of these matters. If they are typical of a small contractor, they will most likely ignore your letter and at that point you will have to sign the matter up in small claims court in the county civil court where your property is located. In NC, you can sue the contractor for up to $5,000 for any claim or controversy -- if the amount that you seek to be reimbursed is more than 5K you will have to hire an attorney who can handle the matter as a regular civil claim to be brought in the civil court in your county. Here is a link to the NC court system's webpage for small claims court and at the bottom of the page there is a link to legal aid of NC in the event that you need to hire an attorney for a claim that will be higher than the small claims court amount (if the legal aid services cannot assist you directly, they can point you in the direction of other free or lower cost attorneys in your area who should be able to handle your claim). http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/Trial/SClaims/

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So, the manner to approach this is to make several telephone calls for a few weeks (keep a log of the telephone calls so you can later show a court if needed) and if you receive no response, that is when you should send the written letter of termination of any and all contracts that you had or may have with the contractor demanding reimbursement for the shoddy work and any work that was not completed (when you send the letter, take it to the post office and pay for a "proof of mailing" certificate -- it is about 80 cents and is a certification that you mailed the letter to a specific address - you can later use this proof in court also). If they ignore you, then you should sign the matter up in small claims court or have an attorney ready to begin pursuing this as a civil matter on your behalf.

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I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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MARY

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Legalease, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 14566
Experience: 13 years experience in Consumer Protection law, in particular construction law and auto repo law
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