I made the mistake of agreeing to let my exboyfriend, who is a licensed maintenance contractor, do some work on my house. We discussed fixing some termite damage in one bedroom, putting gravel around the perimeter of the house, and some rain diverters on the roof. Also changing out a few outlets. We also discussed bartering some of his labor for my old BMW. He started adding on items that we didn't originally agree on, such as pressure washing the entire house, deck , walkway. He also used my blower to clean up my entire yard. He got mad at me one day because I left the sprinklers on, he claimed he couldn't work in the "marsh" that I had created, and charged me a service call ($75) to collect his tools so that he could continue with another job. The next day he demanded that I pay him for his work, handed me an invoice for about $2,500 for one week of work, which never included the electrical outlet, the termite damage, or the rain diverters. He was billing me $30/hour, I believe claiming hours that he wasn't there ( I left for work with him still there sometimes) and also charging me $45 per trip to Lowes to pick up and deliver gravel. When I told him I didn't have that much money, he started ranting and raving about reporting me to multiple authorities, getting me and my roomates kicked out of my house. I paid him $1,000, which is all I had at the time. He is demanding payment for the balance by tomorrow, or he will carry through on his threats. There was never a written, or verbal , agreement as to his charges. In past years, he had charged me, my mother, and his mother $15/hour, so I expected something closer to that amount. To note, he was an alcoholic, has stopped drinking for over 6 months, but I believe his bipolar disorder had increased dramatically, and am wondering if I should be thinking of getting a restraining order. His behavior was erratic while he was working here, rude, demanding and somewhat bullying.
I have been told I run the risk of him placing a mechanics lien on my home, but I don't think he can do that without having had a contract. I want to pay him a fair amount, somewhere between the $15/hour he used to charge, and the $30/hour he is now charging. I do not agree to the $75 service charge, or the $45 per trip to Lowes ( there were 7 of them) to pick up gravel, as I could have had it delivered by Lowes, probably for one flat delivery fee.
I had told him that I could do the pressure washing myself ( I have done so on many occasions) but he kept insisting I didn't have the time to do so, and I agreed to not get into an argument with him ( of which there were many, while he was working here)
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I edited my original statement, and gave more information. As I stated, I agreed to the pressure washing only to avoid a fight with him. I also want to dispute the service call fee, and the delivery fees. I believe he never told me his rate, as he knew that I wouldn't want to pay that amount of money for services that I was able to do myself. Can I argue that in a court of law, if it comes to that? And, if he does file a mechanics lien, will there be some sort of hearing to determine if it is legitimate?
As to the hours that he claimed he worked (while I was at work, and my roomates confirm that he was not here as late as he claimed) is that a he said/she said?
Also, regarding the lien, if he was to file one, would I be able to get a home equity loan during the time period that he filed it, and it was either enforced or not. And if I could not get a loan during that time period, what might that time period be? Would he be capable of dragging this issue out for a long period of time?
So, to clarify, he would have a hard time requiring me to pay $30/hour, if in the past he only charged $15/hour, or even did work for free. Other question, should I be straightforward in me email to him, documenting my rationale for my actions, letting him know that I may file a harrassment suit (?) if he keeps harrassing me, and lastly, should I mention anything to him about the pot he was smoking on my property while doing the work here? It would be in an effort to get him off my back with his multiple threats.
Last question, I promise. Is there a time frame from which he can actually file a lien on my property, I understand the 6 month time from in which he has to file a claim, but can he file a lien at any time he wishes, and would I be informed of him filing a lien? Would I be present at hearing?
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