1) Even if there was no contract in writing, there was a verbal contract and this is evident by the work he did. So one can still enforce the contract.
2) A contractor who is not paid can place a lien on the property. This is what he did.
3) However, he also did a very bad job. He can - it may be argued - breached contract himself. Breach of contract may be minor, or material. A minor breach is substandard performance but one that does not cancel the contract. A material breach goes to the "heart" of the matter wherein the performance is so bad, or nonexistent, that it validates the other party walking away from the contract. Is it a minor or material breach? The Court would decide based on the following subjective factors:
1. The extent to which the injured party will be deprived of an expected benefit
2. The extent to which the party can be adequately compensated.
3. The extent to which the breaching party will suffer forfeiture.
4. The likelihood that the breaching party will cure their failure
5. The good faith of the breaching party.
So if he did a very bad job, he materially breached contract, allowing someone in your situation not to pay. If he did a poor job but "enough," then one may be ordered to be paid a little but not the whole amount owed.
4) The problem is that it is presumed
that he did a good job until proven otherwise.
5) The way to do this is to one of two ways:
1. File a special filing in Court to challenge the lien itself, only, arguing that he did a bad job and should not be paid. This would be a "quick" case; or
2. File a SLANDER OF TITLE case which is essentially a major suit, where someone places a cloud on title
without reason. This is more serious, but also may allow for more damages
Perhaps a letter threatening to do either to the contractor may have them consider rescinding the lien.
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