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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11716
Experience:  19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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Hi, I recently had some water damage at my home which my

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I recently had some water damage at my home which my insurance company fully covered less a deductible. The contractor and insurance adjuster agreed on $5,000, in round figures. I substituted cheaper materials and did not have all of the repairs in the agreed upon quote completed in order to save money/cover the deductible. The insurance adjuster said this was OK. The insurance company paid me and I am supposed to pay the contractor.

After the work was done, the contractor sent me a one line bill (no detail) for the exact amount of the agreed upon work $5,000. In round figures, I did not have about $1,500 of the repair work paid for by the insurance company done. I requested the quote from the insurance company and was able to see the agreed upon amounts. I know what work was completed and what wasn't and have pictures of everything. I thought this was just a bookkeeping error on their part and sent them a check referencing the invoice number and wrote "paid in full" on the check. I also included with the payment: a copy of the quote agreed upon marked up with work not done and materials not used taken off the total and a letter expressing my disappointment with the over billing. The check was for $3,500 in round figures. About $1,000 of this was for a new kitchen counter - nothing was done to the counter in the kitchen. I just received a phone message from the contractor where he said he had done more work and had "traded" items for the $1,500. I don't feel like I need to pay more than was agreed upon and I don't think the contractor can just do work and charge me for it without my consent. However, I am not an attorney. I am not happy with the quality of the work either but that is another issue.

A couple of things:

1) I don't believe him - can't think of a better way to say that. I believe if I asked for a detailed bill from him it would magically be $5,000.
2) I never signed anything - we don't have a signed contract - it was all worked out by the insurance adjuster and the contractor
3) I am not trying to rip anybody off and plan to call him but would like to know my rights first
4) I live in WA state

So, finally the question: I am liable for the work not done or, if there was more work done (again, I dont' think there was) that wasn't agreed upon, am I liable for that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing law for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you.

I recently had some water damage at my home which my insurance company fully covered less a deductible. The contractor and insurance adjuster agreed on $5,000, in round figures. OK, so the total cost was $5000 and you had, say, a $500 deductible, so the check to be cut by the carrier to get the work done was $4500, and you'd be responsible for $500, correct? (Numbers by example).

I substituted cheaper materials and did not have all of the repairs in the agreed upon quote completed in order to save money/cover the deductible. OK. So maybe you said, only do $3500 of that work.

The insurance adjuster said this was OK. The insurance company paid me paid you $4500, right? and I am supposed to pay the contractor. OK.

After the work was done, the contractor sent me a one line bill (no detail) for the exact amount of the agreed upon work $5,000. He billed you for MORE than what you and he agreed on?

In round figures, I did not have about $1,500 of the repair work paid for by the insurance company done. But he billed you for that which he did not do?

I requested the quote from the insurance company and was able to see the agreed upon amounts. I know what work was completed and what wasn't and have pictures of everything. I thought this was just a bookkeeping error on their part on whose part, the contractor?

and sent them The contractor? a check referencing the invoice number and wrote "paid in full" on the check. A check for the smaller amount?

I also included with the payment: a copy of the quote agreed upon marked up with work not done and materials not used taken off the total and a letter expressing my disappointment with the over billing. The check was for $3,500 in round figures. About $1,000 of this was for a new kitchen counter - nothing was done to the counter in the kitchen. I understand.

I just received a phone message from the contractor where he said he had done more work and had "traded" items for the $1,500. I don't feel like I need to pay more than was agreed upon and I don't think the contractor can just do work and charge me for it without my consent. I agree.

However, I am not an attorney. I am not happy with the quality of the work either but that is another issue.

A couple of things:

1) I don't believe him - can't think of a better way to say that. I believe if I asked for a detailed bill from him it would magically be $5,000. Why don't you tell him to itemize all those alleged "traded" items? Then, get another contractor (licensed and experienced) in to examine the work and confirm what was and wasn't done.

2) I never signed anything - we don't have a signed contract - it was all worked out by the insurance adjuster and the contractor Except, only $5000 worth of work was worked out by them - you worked out a modification and didn't get it in writing - that lessens your proof that there was such a modification, although the handwritten notes may help, particularly if they ARE those of the contracter.

3) I am not trying to rip anybody off and plan to call him but would like to know my rights first I understand.

4) I live in WA state. OK.

So, finally the question: I am liable for the work not done Of course not.

or, if there was more work done (again, I dont' think there was) that wasn't agreed upon, am I liable for that? Not necessarily - if you didn't ask for it and had no reason to expect it would "inadvertently" be done, I'd say you have a good position for not being liable.

Optional Information:
Country relating to Question: United States

I think your easiest course at first would be to find out IF the work was done. If it was NOT done (and you prove that via a 3rd party expert who examines, as well as pictures, etc.)...you will win it hands down.... he can't demand to be paid for work he never did......

you can also ask him for receipts of the items he supposedly used/bought (those receipts would have to be dated before the work was done, of course).
.. See what he produces.

But the first thing I'd do is get that expert to examine all and get a written report as to what was and wasn't actually done.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.

Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11716
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
Alexia Esq. and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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