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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23787
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am a construction contractor in the state of California

Customer Question

I am a construction contractor in the state of California and I did multiple projects for a general contractor who have jobs for Cushman Wakefield a large property management firm. As a requirement for the general contractor to collect payment I had to turn in signed and notarized conditional lean release forms so Penick could be tendered. Property manager never followed up with general contractor to see if they paid out the funds to the subcontractors. They never asked for unconditional lien releases to confirm final payouts were indeed done. The general contractor continued to lie and say he had not been paid when he had collected the money I now enough time has gone by that I am outside of my lien rights are. Do I have any recourse to collect the money from the property manager because they did not get final Unconditional lien releases from the subs but our conditional lean releases were used by the GC to collect payment. Shouldn’t the Property manager have confirmed we were paid or send out two-party checks to the GC and subcontractor?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We attempted to make a settlement with the general contractor but he has now and used a lawyer to dissolve his company so no payments will be made. I am now contacting the property manager to try to get something out of them but I’m concerned they may just give me the cold shoulder because I don’t have an active lesions but I suspect they may have some liability because they knew our balances existed from the conditional lean release is they excepted from the GC that showed what needed to go to us and then never followed up to collect unconditional releases to prove we were paid
JA: Have you talked to a CA lawyer about this?
Customer: Not in this detail. Originally I was just examining recourse with the general contractor which appears there is none because they are dead and gone
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope I think that’s the most important parts of it.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

I am so sorry to read about your difficulties.

Kindly note that I just came across your post. I do not have control over the question list or the promises made to you by the site as to the response time. I am just a site user just like you. Nonetheless, I apologize for the delay in response to your post.

Kindly give me a few minutes to prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Your Question:

Do I have any recourse to collect the money from the property manager because they did not get final Unconditional lien releases from the subs but our conditional lean releases were used by the GC to collect payment. Shouldn’t the Property manager have confirmed we were paid or send out two-party checks to the GC and subcontractor?

Response: Yes, you do. The property management is ultimately liable. If your request to be paid is denied or ignored, you should file a lawsuit against the company for breach of contract. You can obtain lawsuit forms online on the Court's website or the clerk's office. The lawsuit would be filed at the Superior Court in the County where the work was performed.

In the meantime, you should file complaint against the contractor's license with the Contractor's Board if the license is still active to prevent him from doing this to another subcontractor.

Best wishes,

A 5-star positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating. However, that is how I get paid for answering questions on this site.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The property manager is trying to claim that because I did not file a preliminary lien form that it avoids my claim rights for the work. From what I understand is it does block me from being able to file a lien but that shouldn’t stop me from still being able to file a lawsuit is that correct? Or if I do not have a lien rights does that mean I do not have claim rights either for a lawsuit?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for the information.

I disagree with the assessment of the situation by the management company. Because you signed the Conditional Waiver and Release of Progress Payment, NOT on Final Payment, the management company had the obligation to verify that the payments were actually made by the general contractor. You can still file lawsuit against property management company.