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insearchoftheanswer
insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 54322
Experience:  Practicing lawyer for 31 years
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I am in Ohio and have red a contractor to build an exterior

Customer Question

I am in Ohio and have hired a contractor to build an exterior building on my property. He originally promised to have it completed in July, but has had multiple excuses why it is still not completed. He shows up intermittently and has done some work, which appears to be of acceptable quality. However, he has so far refused to agree to a written completion date and I don't believe that he has delivered all of the materials to the job site (my house). I know that I need to get a completion date in writing and will demand one (if he shows up again). What are my next steps in case I have to sue him to recover any money or materials that he did not earn or kept when he should not have?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 1 year ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You do have recourse here because your contractor is in default by failing to complete the job within the time promised. He's thus in breach of contract! What you want to do is raise the stakes on him. First, get an estimate from another contractor of the cost to properly finish the job. Then, send him a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history, either terminating the contract due to his default or demanding he give you a precise timeline for the remainder of the job and meet the deadlines on that timeline going forward. If you terminate him, demand that he pay you an amount of money so that when the other contractor completes the job, you have paid in total no more than you would have paid him had he completed the job. If you allow him to complete the job, demand he pay you damages for the time period for which you did not have use of the exterior time frame because of his delay. Inform him that if he does not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as fraud and deceptive trade practice causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the fraud and/or deceptive trade practice judgments being on his record.

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