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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27198
Experience:  Lawyer
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We hired a handyman from the Home Advisor list in Sarasota,

Customer Question

We hired a handyman from the Home Advisor list in Sarasota, FL. We have a contract but made the awful mistake of giving him the money up front. He was suppose to order all the materials and complete the job by May 4, 2016. He has done about 1/4 of the work and only a few of the supplies have been delivered. We gave him $3000 for supplies and $2000 for labor. He calls with all sorts of excuses for not being able to work. This is a manufactured home we purchased in Sarasota and we are in the process of packing up our home in Pompano Beach. We are unfortunately not in Sarasota to keep checking up on him. What recourse do we have.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. By not having the deal done by May 4, the contractor has breached the agreement you had. However, the severity of the breach depends on several factors, which the judge determines on a case-by-case basis.The reasons for the delay. Were materials not delivered? Is he doing work that depends on cooperative weather?The size of the job. Running a few weeks over schedule for a full remodel is considered less of problem that if he was supposed to be doing some minor repairs.Whether the contract included the phrase "time is of the essence."Whether the contractor knew or had reason to know that delays in the construction would cost you money (like if you're trying to rent or sell the property, as opposed to staying there). If a judge felt that the contractor unreasonably committed a major breach of the contract by not completing the work yet, he could order the contractor to repay you the total paid minus the value of supplies delivered and work already performed. A judge could alternatively order the contract to pay you the difference between the $5,000 you paid him and the cost of having someone else finish the job, if that's more. It's up to you to decide how much to sue for. A lawsuit would have to be brought in Sarasota. If you're not there at the moment, one option is to send a letter, via certified mail, demanding that he complete the work ASAP in order to avoid a lawsuit and a complaint to the Florida contractor's board. You could also have a local attorney write the letter. Either certified mail or a letter from a lawyer tends to get more attention from people than just a phone call, email, or text. Small Claims courts have forms on their websites you can use to file a case if you decide to sue. If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
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