A verbal agreement can be binding. A contract
is created between two parties when there is an offer and an acceptance.
In your case, the offer was made when the cleaning service told you their fees. When you agreed to the amount, that was an acceptance and the creation of a binding contract.
In any contract, there must be a benefit to both parties and there must be performance by both parties. In your situation, the benefit to the service was money and the benefit to you was a clean house.
If the cleaning service performed properly, you were obligated to perform (pay the money) as well. However, if the service did not fulfill their obligations under the contract, then you didn't need to fulfill your obligation either.
It would be ideal if there was a written agreement, then you would both know what constitutes a breach of the contract and what your remedies are. Since this doesn't exist, it appears that it will need to be decided by the court.
Since mediation did not succeed, it appears a trial is necessary. The trial is your only opportunity to present your side of the case. Bring whatever testimony
, witnesses or other items of evidence you have. Your burden will be to demonstrate that the cleaning service was not performing, you informed them of the non-performance, they failed/refused to correct the problem and you had no recourse but to fire them.
If you can do this, you will likely prevail. On the opposite side, if the service can somehow demonstrate that they were fulfilling their obligations and the only failure was on YOUR part, then they will likely prevail.
As you can see, a lot of this comes down to credibility. That is one reason I urge you to bring ALL supporting evidence with you to the trial.
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