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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer and legal specialist.
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I had work done on our modest home with a contractor. We were

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I had work done on our modest home with a contractor. We were new to this and trusted him for he was reffered to us by a realtor that we worked with for buying our home. He has said different things, leading to us to believe our budget wasn't being compromised. We now have a 24,000 dollar bill and do not feel satisfied with the work that was done and also feel there are charges on his invoice that don't really compute. He didn't tell us about several charges. We also never had a signed contract with him. He just has sent invoices. He is borderline harrassing us, even though we are paying on time and have asked that he make some adjustments in his bill. He refuses to negotiate with us even though the work is subpar. He has also threated us legally if we don't pay him in full. What are my rights..Did he need to provide us with a written contract? We feel we owe about 5,000-6,000 less.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

He was not legally required to provide a written contract, but in failing to do so, he has made his ability to actually make a claim against you more difficult.

With a written contract, the terms would be clear and so he could sue based on those terms without needing to try and work with you. He probably understands that, without a written contract, his best chance at getting what he wants is to try and strong arm you. Don't bend to his will. You have the right to demand that he clearly indicate the cost, and explain why you should pay a certain amount. If you feel the work is sub par, identify how it is sub par when you offer to pay what you believe is fair.

Without a written contract outlining exactly what the price will be, he has no more legal right to demand a certain amount than you do to demand to pay a certain amount.

Now, could he sue you? Yes, he could, but in a suit he'd have to prove why he is owed a specific amount, while you would be able to challenge that the entire time. Additionally, the suit would cost him money, so he doesn't want to do that (which is exactly why he is strong arming you try and have you pay him what he wants without him having to prove to the third party that he actually is owed more.
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