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I am a small business owner with 25 years experience doing…

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I am a small...

I am a small business owner with 25 years experience doing home renovations. I completed a job by the contracted date, the client refused to pay the final amount due. The client wanted some small things adjusted, which I agreed to do, but she would not provide a date/time for me to conduct the work. Now I receive a demand letter for an extremely unreasonable amount of money stating that the entire job is unsatisfactory and it has devalued her home. I have photos of every step of the work I did which shows the job done in a professional workmanlike manner. Can I request arbitration, and do I have a right to request that she give me the opportunity to correct the issues?

Lawyer's Assistant: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?

The issues include adjusting the heights of outlets above a countertop, and fixing moldings around a door frame. This is a very old home, with a cracked foundation, and rotting framing inside some walls, as the owner didn't fix old leaks. The contract did not call for squaring up the entire first floor walls and ceilings, simply renovating a bathroom and kitchen.

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
2/21/2016
Lawyer: Asad Rahman, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2,443
Experience: Practicing Attorney with 10 years experience
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Do you have a written agreement with her? You shoukd have a right to cure pursuant to your contract. You can request arbitration or mediation at any time. I would also Suggest putting a lien on the property for your unpaid work. If you have some specific questions we can also talk by phone for an additional charge.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
We have already put a lien on the house, which probably escalated the situation. It is my suspicion that the client does not want the work completed, she just wants the money, which is why she refused to pay the balance in the first place. After speaking with the town building inspector, he said it is common for homeowners to call and complain about the work once a lien is filed.
Yes, we have written contract. There is no clause in the contract that spells out right to cure, it warranties the work for 180 days. Does that mean we cannot request arbitration or mediation if its not in the contract? I would rather respond to the demand letter with a request for arbitration if that is an option.
Lawyer: Asad Rahman, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Parties can always ask for arbitration or mediation prior to filing any lawsuit. If you do agree to arbitration, make sure it is binding because if the arbitrator rules against her then she may still file suit unless it is binding arbitration.

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Lawyer: Asad Rahman, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

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