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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110544
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Our contractor's "repair" of our shower resulted in defective

Customer Question

Our contractor's "repair" of our shower resulted in defective work with further damage from water leaking into the walls. We have contacted him numerous times about the repair, and while he as made a few half-hearted attempts at scheduling the repair, it is with extremely short notice, and if we can't arrange our schedules, he drops of the grid again. We gave him notice to repair or refund in the next 14 days, and he replied for us "to contact the City of Houston Permits department in efforts to pull a permit, test the shower floor in accordance with City of Houston Inspections Department and go from there. The time and date will be up to the availability of City of Houston Inspector and we will both need to arrange our schedules accordingly." It doesn't make sense that the inspector is our next/only course of action. What are my options?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
That is not true that the inspector is your only recourse. If the contractor did negligent work and caused damage, your first step is to get a new contractor in, since your contractor is refusing to correct and repair the negligent work and damage it caused. You get the new contractor to inspect and write a report on what was done wrong and the estimated cost of repairing the damage.
Once you get that, you can 1) pay to get the work done by the new contractor and sue the old one for the costs of repairs or 2) send the copy of the report and cost of repairs to the old contractor and tell him this is is his final chance to cure the breach of his contract with you and repair the damages and correct the negligent work or you will have it done and sue him for the costs as well as report him to the contractor licensing board for his negligent work.
You do not have to call out the building inspector as your only option.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your response. The only contact information I have is an email address, which I have recently tracked down. He is no longer at his business address, and his previous email address is no longer valid. I believe he is temporarily living with family in the area. I have been otherwise advised to go through the RCLA proceedings, notifying him via certified mail. I am concerned that certified mail isn't an option if he refuses to accept or sign for it. Seems like that's a dead end for RCLA. Am I out of luck if I can't prove he has been notified?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You would need to get someone to find him to serve him with a suit or the RCLA complaint process. If you cannot prove he has been served or notified then if it is a court suit you can show the court you exhausted all reasonable means to locate him to serve him and ask the court to allow service by publication, which would allow your suit to proceed and get a judgment by default if he does not answer. Then the problem would be finding him to collect the judgment against him.
You can use a private investigator to locate him and the costs of that would be part of your damages in your suit against him. That is an option if you cannot find him by any other means.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply. Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page , as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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