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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55594
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I red a contractor to build a post frame building in

Customer Question

I hired a contractor to build a post frame building in Missouri, labor only. They did 2 separate bids for building ($6650) and concrete floor ($5815) with a total price of $12,465. I have paid $9233. The concrete was just poured and I have not paid anymore as of yet. The concrete floor is of shoddy workmanship with may low areas and top layer of concrete already coming up. What are my options of not paying him anything else until he replaces the concrete and if he refuses and put a lien against my building or sues me for the balance of the bid. Location Excelsior Springs, MO 64024. Thanks, Trent
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

First, don't worry about the threat of any lien. If the contractor were to place a lien, he would not be able to do anything with it unless he filed a suit and prevailed in that suit. Given your facts, he would not prevail, and the court would simply order the lien released. And, if the contractor doesn't timely pursue the suit, the lien will lapse automatically. It's the contractor who is in default here and you are the one with the recourse. What you want to do is raise the stakes on him so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost far more in the end than simply paying you now. First, get an estimate from another contractor of the cost to properly remediate the job. Then, send your existing contractor a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history, terminating the contract due to his default, and demand that he pay you an amount of money so that when the other contractor completes the job, you have paid in total no more than you would have paid him had he completed the job competently. Inform him that if he does not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as gross negligence, fraud, and deceptive trade practice causes of action, 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. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments being on his record.

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