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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20030
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I recently had a painting contractor skip out on completing

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I recently had a painting contractor skip out on completing painting my house. When he left, he left all his equipment. His father is now trying to recover the equipment. Do I have to let him have it. I'm in GA.

Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Yes, unfortunately, you must allow the painting contractor to retrieve his property and cannot hold it for any damages or expenses you might have incurred from his breach of the painting agreement. However, you don't have to hand it over to his father unless his father can produce a notarized power of attorney or notarized letter from the painter giving him legal authority to take the property. Otherwise, if you let someone take the property that they do not own, you could be liable for the property if it doesn't make it back to the owner. So, you can make them jump through the hoops unless the painter shows up himself to take the property.

As for the incomplete job, you can file suit in small claims court for any damages that you incur as a result of that. For example, if you paid him some money and he did not do the job, you could get that money back or if you had to pay someone else more than you would have had to pay him to do the job, you could sue for the difference.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can I charge him for storage?

Hello again and thank you for the follow up question. It really depends on how long you have had the property and whether the storage charge would be reasonable. You don't want to put yourself in the position of being sued, or worse yet charged with criminal conversion, because you make it impossible to retrieve the property. So, you want to keep that in mind when deciding about charging for storage. There is no statute that covers this issue precisely, so it is fact specific. But, for example, if you had the property for a few weeks, a storage fee, unless it was taking up space where you could earn income, would not generally be considered reasonable. Whereas if you had stored it for six months, then a reasonable fee would be more likely to be considered reasonable by the courts.

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