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I am asking for assistance with a general contractor who has…

Customer Question
Good morning. I...

Good morning. I am asking for assistance with a general contractor who has had all of my insurance settlement money since July of 2017 and has not completed the contracted work. I am not familiar with where my responsibility starts regarding the work and what the contractors responsibilities are - other than to complete the work. Contracted work is roof and siding replacement. Please tell me where to start with filing a complaint and possibly suing for not delivering the work. Thanks.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I am in Minnesota.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None other than to contact the contractor for dates.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The government agency that oversees contractors is the Department of Labor and Industry, but they unfortunately don't handle these types of disputes. They would get involved if he were doing work without a contract, doing work that violated the building code, and things like that. DLI isn't going to be able to get you a refund or compel the contractor to do the work. However, you can go to court.

Unless the contract says something like "time is of the essence," the law requires that work be performed within a reasonable time. It can sometimes be difficult for contractors to do roof work when there's snow - but there's really no excuse for not doing the work from July through March. This doesn't sound like a snow or weather issue. A delay could be reasonable if he had trouble getting materials delivered, but you'd usually know if that were the hold up. He's probably simply not feeling inspired to do the work because he's already gotten paid. One option, which might help get he work done faster, is to send a demand letter via certified mail, reminding him that he was paid for work not completed, and letting him know that you'll sue for a partial refund if he doesn't finish your roof and siding by a date you indicate. Once that deadline passes, you could go ahead and file a lawsuit.

Another option is to get estimates to see what other companies would charge to do the roofing and siding, and send those estimates. Let him know you'll sue for those amounts if he doesn't finish the work by your deadline. That can help protect you in the event that getting someone else to complete the work costs more than what the original contractor promised.

If he doesn't respond or won't do the work, then the next step is to file a lawsuit. Where to file is going to depend on how much he owes you. For up to $10,000, you'd go to Conciliation Court, which is what Minnesota calls their small claims courts. It's designed for people to represent themselves, so if you're under the limit, it's usually a good option. All of the forms and instructions are available online.

http://www.mncourts.gov/GetForms.aspx?c=10

For claims of more than $10,000, then you'd file in the District Court, which requires drafting your own complaint. You may be able to find samples on sites such as www.legalzoom.com or www.uslegalforms.com.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

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