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Old 04-26-2007, 06:43 PM   #1
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problem contractor-help please


Hi,
I just wonder if anyone can tell me what options do I have if my contractor is abandoning my house. I am having a landscaping done and paid the contractor 3/4 of the contracted amount already. Now, it's been a week that they don't show up. I kept calling and calling, but either no answers or went to the voicemail.

Can someone advice if there is any legal action that I can take? if yes, where and how do I do that? Worst, he may not be licensed - though he gave me the licensed #, but now I am not so sure.

Thank you for any advice.

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Old 04-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #2
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Did you sign a contract?

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Old 04-26-2007, 07:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Csucks View Post
Hi,
I just wonder if anyone can tell me what options do I have if my contractor is abandoning my house. I am having a landscaping done and paid the contractor 3/4 of the contracted amount already. Now, it's been a week that they don't show up. I kept calling and calling, but either no answers or went to the voicemail.

Can someone advice if there is any legal action that I can take? if yes, where and how do I do that? Worst, he may not be licensed - though he gave me the licensed #, but now I am not so sure.

Thank you for any advice.
FIRST: Check with your state. Most states, that I am aware of, have a contractor registration program to track contractors, so this type of thing can be investigated and action may be taken.
Look on a state website. Possibly a dot.Gov.

Do you have an address? You can send a registered letter.

This is just some initial advice. There is really alot that you can do, with some actual legal advice.

(Also: Can you personally do some research about them. Do a random web search on their company name to see if they have a record of 'dissapearing')

Good Luck...

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 04-26-2007 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:56 PM   #4
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I have a contract - but informal one with him and I signing it. The contract does say everything the 'formal' contract says.

He is his own guy pretty much. I looked for his license# but couldn't find his name nor the number. In case he's not licensed, is there anything that I can do?

He keeps asking for money - The payment agreement was 1/3 at the start, 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 when finish. He's been asking money more times than he's supposed. He said he needed the money to buy materials' - what am I supposed to say?? If I don't give him the money, he doesn't finish his job. What an a-hole really. I am so frustrated.

is there anything I can tell him to scare him off - like I am gonna take you to court, etc?
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:08 AM   #5
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I don't trust him.

Normal cotnractors: If they need money, they will work hard to finish the job.

I've seen this all too many times. They say they need the money for more materials...yah right...

If he says he needs money to purchase more lawn or landscaping products for your yard....then you could offer to pay the supply company directly, rather than give HIM the money to supposedly buy these...

If he is not abiding by the payment arrangement/schedule, in the contract, and insisting on non-scheduled payments, he's the one causing the issues. You have every right not to pay.

Worse case scenerio, if he refuses your conditions (the original signed contract conditions that he agreed to), you could take the last payment and have someone else finish it up.

Most reputable contractors have accounts with supply yards, so there's no need to beg for more money for materials.
The ones that don't have accounts are ususally the guys that CAN'T get accounts because of their poor credit or past dead beat history...
again, I've seen it all too many times...
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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I generally agree - Unfortunately we are hearing only one side of the story. There could be more to this. Maybe not. Some conflicting information.
"I kept calling and calling, but either no answers or went to the voicemail."
and
"He keeps asking for money"

How can the contractor be asking for money if the original poster hasn't connected with him?

As for more money for materials. Thats usually what the first third is used for. Has the scope of work changed? Were there unforeseen conditions that materially change the scope? Has the purchaser of services changed the scope?

Anyway - I am one to not start bashing contractors without the full story. AWB - I'm sure you have been there too.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:42 PM   #7
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Brik,

You're right, there's is always two sides to every story....

(The thing is that there are alot of guys out there running 'little businesses' just under the 'radar', so to speak. And they run 'shop' just like the poster described....)
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Csucks View Post
I have a contract - but informal one with him and I signing it. The contract does say everything the 'formal' contract says.

He is his own guy pretty much. I looked for his license# but couldn't find his name nor the number. In case he's not licensed, is there anything that I can do?

He keeps asking for money - The payment agreement was 1/3 at the start, 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 when finish. He's been asking money more times than he's supposed. He said he needed the money to buy materials' - what am I supposed to say?? If I don't give him the money, he doesn't finish his job. What an a-hole really. I am so frustrated.

is there anything I can tell him to scare him off - like I am gonna take you to court, etc?

What do you mean by "informal contract"?

Do you know where this guy lives or has an office? Did you happen to get license plate #?


With regards to your contractor being licensed: It all depends on what the state, county, city/town requirements are. Here in Indiana the state does NOT require landscaping contractors to be licensed, however, some counties & cities/towns do as a way to raise revenue.

In addition, I know plenty of reputable contractors that don't have accounts with supply yards. They choose NOT to finance other peoples projects.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:58 PM   #9
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There is no such thing as an informal contract, even if it is verbal. There either is one or there isn't, and if he is not abiding by the contract, then it may be actionable. Does your contract state exactly what is to be done, when, and with what products, along with the 1/3,1/3,1/3 payment schedule? How did he get 3/4 of his money on that schedule?

Was any material delivered to your home, or did he bring it all with him?
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:18 AM   #10
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Never pay for anything that hasn't been done. If they need money up front to buy materials find another contractor. The contractor should never be ahead till the job is finished. You would not believe the people who offer half or even all the money for a job before it even starts. That contract doesn't mean anything to a crook they'll take that money and never come back. As a contractor i never take money for anything that has not been finished and inspected by the customer.

NEVER EVER PAY FOR WORK THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE!!!!
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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Hey Brick - you gotta be a contractor with your statement. About the phone call, I am just making it short. MOST of the time he never answers and when he answers, he always says 'i'll be there' but never shows up. Of course, stupid of us, we are hopeful and still beleive him - and also because we hate to find another contractor who probably will end up the same like this guy !

thank you for everybody's answers and tips.

It's been two weeks pass now - and the contractor is still not showing up to finish the job. He finally answered his phone again last week and still said the same thing - 'we'll come tomorrow', next day still nobody showed up until NOW.
If he's having problem with me and the contract, I am sure he would've said it, but he didn't and all he said was 'I am sorry, I will come tomorrow' So, what the f***?

I am about to hire another contractor with the leftover money but it's not much - but my husband is still having hope with this contractor.

To answer your questions about the contract, every single small things that needs to be done is listed in the contract.

Again, is there any legal issue that I can pursue? I don't know where he lives but perhaps I could find out. I don't know his car plate. But what can I do even if I know where he lives. I don't think he has an office.

-the frustrated one-
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:45 PM   #12
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No, I'm not a contractor, nor do I play one on TV, just here

I just get frustrated with people (not necessarily csucks) looking for lawyers and the government to bail them out.

If indeed this guys is not showing up, returning calls, etc. Whey do you want to force him to finish?

Just get someone else to finish or finish it yourself. Chalk up the possible extra costs to lessons learned. Next step, if you wanted to persue it wold be to send him a bill for the work you paid for and he didn't do. Small claims court after that.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:04 PM   #13
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I think you should basically go to police and ask for help/advice... this guy to me done somthing similar to stealing money from innocent people... try the police first...
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krpen71 View Post
Never pay for anything that hasn't been done. If they need money up front to buy materials find another contractor. The contractor should never be ahead till the job is finished. You would not believe the people who offer half or even all the money for a job before it even starts. That contract doesn't mean anything to a crook they'll take that money and never come back. As a contractor i never take money for anything that has not been finished and inspected by the customer.

NEVER EVER PAY FOR WORK THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE!!!!

What happens when the customers leaves you holding the bag with $10,000 worth of special orders that are not returnable?

I dont work for people that dont at least cover material costs for a project 5 days before it starts. If you cant trust my refrences and BBB membership then find another contractor.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:49 PM   #15
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well contractors can always go after the homeowner as they have no where to hide... and trust me... most home owner scare of contractors... but paying some sort of material cost in the beginning is understandable expecially for big material cost project.... however... for someone you don't know... I wouldn't blame the homeowner to be smart and not to pay a cent until seeing the materials delivered to the site and would only pay the approx. amount of the delivered material cost....

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