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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55296
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I fired a house painter for not having a current business license

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I fired a house painter for not having a current business license or insurance.
He was also horrible to work with and has taken almost a year, blowing past all the deadlines I kept giving him.
The job is about 85% done.
Our verbal agreement was for $2400 total, $1200 at the start and again at the end.
I paid all materials. Re: materials, he wouldn't give me actual store receipts and when he did, the dates and the amounts didn't coordinate. I am pretty sure he was billing me for things that he would use on other jobs. Ie charge for 26 tubes of caulking and I could only find 11 empty tubes when picking up the garbage. I paid him for all but this last receipt mentioned.
If the job was finished, I would still owe him $1200.
I am willing to give him something, but he is such a jerk, and I will have to hire someone else to finnish, who I now know will charge more than I owe him.
Is it possible to have a check written by an attorney that states that if he cashes it, that he is accepting that as final payment?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. The first thing you want to do is get an estimate from a competent painter as to what it will cost you to complete the job properly. If that's less than $1200, you would only be willing to pay the fired painter the $1200 reduced by the cost of having someone else finish; if it will cost more than $1200 to complete, you don't want to pay the fired painter another dime but instead would want the painter to pay you the excess amount needed. What you will want to do is raise the stakes on him so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost him far more in the end than simply settling with you based on your demand. You should send him a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and demanding that he agree to settle this on the terms you demand within a short specified period of time. Inform him that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as deceptive trade practice and fraud actions, 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. As part of this, you will want to have him sign a Settlement and Release agreement before any money is paid. I can provide you a template for such a document if you need it...just let me know.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If that template would be applicable for Washington State, please send me the Settlement and Release agreement.

I don't want to sue him for the additional costs of finishing the job. I just want him to leave me alone and stop contacting me for money.


Thanks so much for following up. Yes, this will be applicable in Washington state. The template is below.


This Release and Settlement, is made and entered into this ______ day of ____________, _____, between ___________________ (hereinafter, “PARTY NO. 1”), and, _____________________ (hereinafter, “PARTY NO. 2”), and is intended to resolve with finality all present and future claims against PARTY NO. 2 by PARTY NO. 1, and all present and future claims against PARTY NO. 1 by PARTY NO. 2 concerning the matters set forth below.
WHEREAS, ___________________________________________ (“Transaction in Issue”_; and
WHEREAS, the parties wish to dispense with the uncertainty and expense of any future claims and/or litigation directly or indirectly related to the foregoing;
NOW THEREFORE, in exchange for the mutual covenants, promises, and consideration set forth below, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties hereby agree as follows:
1. The above recitals are true.
2. PARTY NO. 2 expressly acknowledges and agrees that any current or future claim he has or may have against PARTY NO. 1 and/or any/every other party arising out of or in any manner whatsoever connected with the Transaction in Issue, is hereby permanently waived and abandoned. PARTY NO. 1 expressly acknowledges and agrees that any current or future claim he has or may have against PARTY NO. 2 and/or any/every other party arising out of or in any manner whatsoever connected with the Transaction in Issue, is hereby permanently waived and abandoned.
3. The parties hereby expressly stipulate that they have entered into this Release and Settlement freely and voluntarily and for the sole purpose of avoiding future expense and litigation.
4. The terms of this Release and Settlement shall remain confidential, and no party shall reveal the substance of same to any third parties without there being then in place a binding court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
5. This Release and Settlement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and no other document, writing, or conversation may be used as evidence of any other terms or conditions.
6. This Release and Settlement may be executed in counterparts, all of which shall together constitute one agreement. Signatures in electronic or facsimile form shall be considered original signatures.
7. No changes to this Release and Settlement, whether material or not, shall be effective unless said changes are in writing, acknowledged and executed by all parties to this Release and Settlement
WHEREFORE the parties and/or their representatives have affixed their hands and seal on the dates indicated herein below.

______________________________ ______________________________

Dated: _______________________ Dated: _______________________
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