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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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Landscape owner subcontracted a patio job to a friend. No

Customer Question

Landscape owner subcontracted a patio job to a friend. No monies were to be paid until satisfied with job. The scope of the job was to lower flagstone patio 5 in, then relay stones using a tight fit.
The workers removed the dirt to lower but did not compact the base properly. They started to lay the stones in cement without configuring the layout which caused the use of small pieces to fill the larger gaps.
They were advised this was not acceptable and the small pieces needed to be removed and the stones layed in a tighter fit. They refused to redo and walked off the job.
Question: is there any obligation for payment since the work is not correct and they walked off the job? This was an oral arrangement as the worker did not want any record for tax purposes.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Dear Customer,

If the subcontractor did not complete the work in a "workmanlike manner" (below the standard of care for the industry) then they are in breach of contract.

The landscape contractor is still liable to the homeowner for getting this job done properly, so they are going to have to find another crew to do the job (or do it themselves), and the cost of doing this can be charged to the subcontractor that walked off the job.

If the subcontractor that walked off refuses to pay the difference (so if it costs more to pay someone to fix it than what the subcontractor would have been paid), then the landscaper can sue the subcontractor for breach of contract in small claims court and receive a money judgment for the difference.

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