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I hired a contractor to remodel my home. It would involve…

Customer Question
I hired a contractor...

I hired a contractor to remodel my home. It would involve over $100,000. He did the bathroom & roof, but he has not completed the deck or even started on the kitchen, dining and living room except for stripping down the kitchen so he would not have to rent another dumpster. I have paid him all but $12,500, but he is wanting it BEFORE he even starts the inside. Since he has not even finished the deck, I have refused to pay him. So he quit working over 2 months ago and filed a lien on my home. I have been without a kitchen, living room and dining room all of that time. My house is a complete mess and I want to hire another contractor to finish this. Could this be a problem?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ohio

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I don't understand. He was to work on the project until it was done.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

What is THIS going to cost me?

Lawyer's Assistant: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the Employment Lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason.

What kind of 'rest' are we talking about. I did this remodel with money my mother left me and it is now gone. I live on social security

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/5/2017
Employment Lawyer: Richard, Attorney replied 7 months ago
Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,727
Experience: Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

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Employment Lawyer: Richard, Attorney replied 7 months ago

You are correct not to pay him another dime until he finishes the job to your satisfaction. First, don't worry about the threat of any lien. If the contractor were to place a lien, he would not be able to do anything with it unless he filed a suit and prevailed in that suit. Given your facts, he would not prevail, and the court would simply order the lien released. And, if the contractor doesn't timely pursue the suit, the lien will lapse automatically. It's the contractor who is in default here and you are the one with the recourse. What you want to do is raise the stakes on him so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost far more in the end than simply paying you now. First, get an estimate from another contractor of the cost to properly remediate the job. Then, send your existing contractor a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history, terminating the contract due to his default, and demand that he pay you an amount of money so that when the other contractor completes the job, you have paid in total no more than you would have paid him had he completed the job competently. Inform him that if he does not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as gross negligence, fraud, and deceptive trade practice causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments being on his record.

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Category: Employment Law
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