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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34855
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Verbal contract with person hired to clean house. Took over

Customer Question

verbal contract with person hired to clean house. Took over a month to do 20 hours of work. Nudged cleaner to finish within a few days. Cleaner mentioned they had not even got to the kitchen yet, but would finish in a few days. 3rd party went in to evaluate work done. Toilet paper on ceilings, sticky residue left on floors, not 1 closet cleaned, floors or shelving, black ring around fan blades on ceiling, kit. cabinets, upper ones not cleaned off, white residue left on walls from oven cleaner, door handles left grimy, window sills left dirty, things like this. Communicated with cleaner to visit home and review, cleaner mentioned 4-5 attempts to visit, but never showed up or was too busy, yet mentioned having seen painters and roofers (both were there)
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: never made contact with 3rd party. Sent mutliple letter and texts about this to cleaner. Cleaner refused to acknowledge any of it, jet keeps demanding money, and threatening to take legal action, and is now demanding address, full name, etc. Wyoming.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no. trying to keep it formal and just settle things, just want cleaner to go in and finish. cleaner made comment to contractor never wanted to go back because it was filthy and she underbid herself, feels she put in her 20 hours and was going to put in no more
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am in the real estate field myself, know breach of contract law, mostly, business degrees, etc. contract was verbal, but enough emails and texts to support and substantiate her understanding and agreement to go by and resolve, but she refuses now to play ball, now she is just demanding her $
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 3 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I have read your comments, but I don't see an actual legal question that I can answer..

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If you can post your question, I should be able to help..

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Has there actually been improvement in the condition of the property?

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Was the agreement for a certain amount of money, or for a set amount of hours, or to just get the house clean?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
verbal contract to clean house, verbal mention of specific things, for example fan ring, window sills, clean oven, wipe out cabinets, etc. and general understanding of what term cleaning house is to a professional house cleaner. cleaner inspected premises before giving quote of hours needed to complete task and price per hour. many texts that substantiate her understanding of problem and willingness to show up to rectify. She just never did show up or make an effort to communicate with 3rd party who was there to inspect her workmanship. No way to substantiate her 20 hours of work. Contractors there stated they never seen her there, ever, while they were there during same time period. I want to pay her, but not amount quoted as she did not finish and I will be required to hire someone else to finish. Can I subtract from amount she is demanding to be paid, what I will need to pay out to hire another cleaner to go in and finish what she refuses to complete? Am I justified in stating to her is this a breach of contract and subtracting funds? Thank You
Expert:  barristerinky replied 3 months ago.

Ok, then if she simply didnt' do the work, you have no legal obligation to pay her.. You need to take photos of the property currently and keep them to use as evidence in case she tried to sue. I hope you have photos of the property before she started, but if not, you will have to make due with current ones.

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If you didn't' take photos....always do so in the future...I have been a landlord for over 26 years and photos of conditions always tell a great story to a judge..

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So if the place is not where it should be with 20 hours of professional cleaning, then I would refuse to pay her and ask her to provide an itemized invoice for her days there and the hours per day. If she hasn't been there much at all, she will screw up and list a date where a painter or contractor was there who can then testify that she is lying as they were there and never saw her. Then her whole story collapses on that lie and you pay her some reasonable amount considering what work she actually did and send her on her way.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank You for the advice. It is most helpful. I do have pics of the dirt on floors, shelving dirt, TP on ceiling, white film in oven, ring around fan, etc. all before she went in, and since she stated she was done. If asked for an itemized bill, I am confident she will justify her 20 hours and what she did in that time. It is a big house, and the people who left it were indeed filthy people. (allowed their animals to urinate on carpets, then lived with it, never cleaning carpets at all, 3 foot long patches of black, not brown or tan, black hand grime along every door jam, both sides, in the house, ground in hand filth on every cabinet surface in kitchen, food splashed on walls, windows, by the looks of the amount of grease and grime, I think they fried everything they ate, and that is just for a start! She mentioned having a helper who cleaned the upstairs. This is where most of the areas missed are located. Thank You again. I will ask for the itemized bill, and subtract the amount of time it would take to clean the areas left undone and send the balance, along with the pictures.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 3 months ago.

. I do have pics of the dirt on floors, shelving dirt, TP on ceiling, white film in oven, ring around fan, etc. all before she went in

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Great, that is exactly what you need to prove she is lying..

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But definitely ask for the itemized bill with dates and hours worked so you can catch her... And if she said she cleaned areas and there is no discernable difference, then I would refuse to pay for that time because clearly she and her assistant were ineffective. You only pay for results, not for trying..

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Have a great evening!

Barrister

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