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Applying liens

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Posted by: from Toronto
1/6/2009 at 10:59:29 AM

Happy New Year to all my fellow contractors!

Wondering if anyone knows how to go about placing a lien on a property?!?!

An immediate response would be greatly appreciated.

We should definitley set up a site for deadbeat customers!

Cheers everyone!

Bill

REPLIES (20)
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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/6/2009 at 4:07:17 PM

one thing is you must exhaust all measures to get your money back first I talked to a judge about that already. I am not sure about how to do this either because it never had to get to that point. I find if you tell the home owner of your intentions they will usually pay up! A better trick of the trade would be to send them an invoice with amount owed stating that there is an 18% interest charge every month on unpaid balances. They will soon pay up and if it did go to court and a lien has been placed they would have to pay the interest as well. I always belive in giving them a chance. One thing is for sure as long as you did what you said you would do you will be in the clear. I will ask my lawyer about putting in liens he will know and I wil send you an email.

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Co-Craft Carpentry in Georgetown
Date/Time1/7/2009 at 2:14:22 PM

Hi guys,

I have never had to place a lien but I do know the steps involved because I had one deadbeat client last summer almost run on my bill. Fist off, get your lawyer to send a letter to the client representing you. From then on out make it clear that this problem is now with your lawyer and that they shoud contact him/her in leau of contacting you from that point forward. This takes the personal emotions out of it and your lawyer can communicate on a level keel. If that doesnt work, you must place your lien within 30 days of the last day of work. You must provide your and employee timesheets, to prove labour cost, and all other bills. Manly you need the contract, and I hope to God you have one or else your almost up the creek unless your lawyer can work a miricle.

Thanks,

Dave Cockburn

Co-Craft Carpentry

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/8/2009 at 1:51:01 AM

he is right about the thirty days and it does not take that long to place a lien but the best is for sure try to work things out with them first. I can save your reputation. if you put a lien on somebody's home they will be talking bad about your company for a long time. Try the way I explain before and if that does not work then do what you have to do. 2 weeks is not a long time and then you still have 2 weeks for the lien.

thanks for the info dave I needed to here that too.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/8/2009 at 1:56:37 AM

I just thought i should tell you you guy's should read about the removal of one of our programs post. I put t there and have talked to some of the other contractors already and everyboday should know about it pass the word please. we payed good money for it and now it is gone!

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time1/9/2009 at 6:37:53 PM

Hi Bill- you are much better off to get a lawyer to post the lien as far as I'm concerned. The first one I did by myself, I made a small mistake as to Lot /concession #, so had to re-apply, at about $140. I did one in '07 that got to negotiations pretty much right away because my lawyer was on it faster than Rosie O'Donnell on a baked ham. The client wanted to settle right away for $3500., which was way more than I needed out of it, but he advised me to refuse & that we'd see them in court. 1 week later we settled for a much larger sum- some folks don't like to go to court- people might think their deadbeats.

If you sense these people are going to bolt on you, jump all over them NOW. A lien is a small price to pay to get at least some of your money out of it. The lien might not go anywhere, but you'll probably scare the shit out of them. Dave is correct though, a signed contract is important, but if you at least have something written down your lawyer will have something to work with.

And you are right about posting deadbeats- feel pretty good right about now, wouldn't it? I think we should use this site if possible because we're all here already, and it sounds like you all have your lists ready.....

Good luck Bill- take this one down and put a notch on your hammer handle!

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time1/11/2009 at 10:11:17 AM

Hi Bill,

It is actually 45 days from the time you finished the job. Contact your lawyer and have him do the lien, I wouldn't even attempt it myself. At that point once the lien is registered, your lawyer should send them a letter advising them of the lien on their property. From the time the lien is registered you have an additional 45 days to "perfect" the lien which will cement the lien to the property. If you do not perfect the lien and nothing is resolved in the 45 day period, the lien will expire....."perfecting" it costs quite a bit more but if they do not respond to the lawyers letter and lien registration, it is the only way to ensure you get paid at some point. They can not sell the home until the lien is paid. Unfortunately I am currently go through this myself with a commercial project which is why I know as much as I do. Good luck.

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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time1/11/2009 at 12:57:44 PM

Hey Guys.

Thanks for all your help. I do have a lawyer on it.

Anyone know of a company called ACME Environmentals here in T.O.? Careful.

Bill

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/13/2009 at 1:18:09 PM

I never heard of them bought thanks for the bad!

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time1/13/2009 at 5:09:47 PM

ACME?

Don't they make rocket powered roller skates for coyotes?

Goog luck on the lien, Bill

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/14/2009 at 4:35:16 PM

I thought it was space ships

We have another problem guy's I just found out that there is some new home renovation guy's out there I did an estimate for a lady that would cost in the neighborhood of $58000 to do! I noticed that the lady had other contractors there and the guy's that I seen where around 20-21 and she chose to go with them That was fine but They gave her an estimate for about $20,000 It would have cost me about $25,000 in Material and the ball is rolling. The problem is that these guy's came straight from this site and these people are not the ones we know about. They are not the ones posting any responces and they hide low. we should make comments on that. These guy's are the ones that rip people of and give contractors a bad name I have sent an email to the head office regarding this and explained to them that there was know way that they should let contractors that don't have a good rep on this site. What do you guy's think.

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Co-Craft Carpentry in Georgetown
Date/Time1/15/2009 at 5:33:09 PM

I totally agree, I showed up to a job after xmas to price a roof. I had an appointment for 1pm. I show up 5 minutes early, as Im getting out of the truck, another guys pulls in the driveway, ( i was on the road) and runs to the door. The lady was very nice and very sorry about this, but still, this site, although a very good resource, bring out the bad, almost as much as the good! theres really nothing to do tho, people will eventually learn who the professionals are, thanks,

Dave

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time1/15/2009 at 5:38:07 PM

You're right about that Michael, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. Word gets out about this site and before you know it every hack with a hammer is on here & pulling down leads, taking work away from the legit ones.

Brings up an interesting question: there are an awful lot of contractors on this site, so just who are the good ones? How do we tell the good from the bad? I am sure every one of us on here have had shithead clients that consider us the bad ones, but thats 1 opinion. But what exactly is it that makes one contractor better than another? Is it a shiny plaque from the BBB on your office wall? I'd like to hear some comments from some of you fellas on this matter. I've got 30 years in this biz, 20 on my own, and about 85% of my business is from referrals and repeats, but does that make me a good contractor?

I said it before but here it is again: our business is decided by the economy- when things are good you put people on waiting lists and can charge pretty much whatever you want, good help is impossible to find because everyone with even a half ounce of knowledge in renos is working, you pay through the nose for materials because it becomes supply & demand, you start turning work down and begin to wonder if you'll ever see your family for more than an hour at a time- you guys who have been doing this awhile know what I'm talking about; anybody new will find out. But we're in a recession now, and there are a lot of new guys hitting the streets. Anybody that can afford renovations has their pick of contractor- without a 2 month wait! bonus! And look at how cheap they can do it! Materials are cheap cause no-ones buying like they used to, legitimate contractors are looking for work thats not there, and guys that worked in factories are trying to pay their bills by being 'contractors'. These guys don't care if they fuck-up because they'll never have to go back and fix anything; they'll probobly bail after the client refuses to give them any more money, as we have seen on this site. And yes, there are way to many of these guys out there, with lots more to come, but we have to stick to what we know and hope people come to realise that cheap gets you nothing but troubles. Remember guys--- you can't fix stupid.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time1/15/2009 at 10:43:20 PM

Listen, it sucks that we have to deal with all of the morons who have picked up a hammer and call themselves contractors. I have found that more and more customers are educating themselves prior to beginning a project and are beginning to recognize the red flags. I have had several customers who chose to go with my company because they had confidence in me and my skills regardless if my price was more. I am experienced and professional and it shows. What we all need to do when meeting with customers initially is to show them the difference between us and the fly by nights. I think those of us who truly are reputable contractors will all be okay.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/19/2009 at 1:07:13 AM

I will agree with bill and shawn and bill I already now who you are beause I did an estimate for some people and they asked me who I thought was good in there area. I did tell them that I thought you where good last year. they did call me back and say thanks. and they did tell me you where good. I had and still have alot of refferals to and that is what saves me at this time of year. and if your a good contractor you can always get work because If I cant get to them I will refer someone else.The new guy's that are giving cheap prices I will not comment. and if they are reading this i will tell them this. It is beterr to be known for quality and expensive than cheap and did a bad job. One bad customer will loose you 100 jobs and before long you will be back at the factory. One good client will get you another job. Food for thought.

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Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time2/16/2009 at 10:51:47 PM

Wow, by the sounds of these conversations I feel there is a lot of non busy contractors out there.

My name is Brad, my company is called "TRADESMEN" I specialize in what I know and do best, that is drywall installations, mud work and paint finishes. I like what I do and I do it well. Having said that, I have had great referrals and then I have had really bad referrals in my past. I do the best job possible always and therefore I am a great contractor, I treat my customers very personally and I make them see the whole picture and why I charge what I charge, I explain to them that a man has to not only eat but he has to feed his family. If you want cheap, I will do my best to shave costs when I feel I have to and that you get what you pay for with me and or my crew.

Guys, to address the issues I see posted here I would like to say that I for one belong to this site, I pay my dues to this site and many other sites so I belong without a doubt. Regards to fly by night contractors, I have to say I have also seen my share and have on many occasions went in behind them to redo some shotty work as well.

I believe that a persons personality will always show through no matter if he works in a factory or if he is Bob the builder, bad personalities make bad contractors, bad decisions make incompetent contractors and cut throat personalities make just that same type of contractor.

I think it can be hard when you deal with under cutting/bidding too much however, we all have to come to terms with the facts and realize that sometimes without a doubt we do over charge our customers just a little too much. Many of my customers that I have been working with over the years are more educated now then way back when and they simply are being more watchful of their cash flow, especially in tough times like now.

Bottom line is that the consumers are more aware today then ever before, if they find out that they are being taken advantage of, being over charged ans what not then they simply look elsewhere for the better deal, this does not mean you are a bad contractor for overcharging right??? hmmmmmm....I`m not sure what it means but I do know this...if someone comes along a bids a better price to a customer then it is for sure not bad at all, the customer saves money and the contractor feeds his family for one more week. Who said cheaper meant shotty workmanship?

Brad K. Ivany

Tradesmencontracting@gmail.com

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time2/17/2009 at 8:28:24 AM

Great comments Brad, you are absolutely right. Every company has a different price structure I find. If you have large overhead, you have to charge more. You have to pay employees, vehicle payments/lease/insurance/gas/maintenance, business insurance, sub trades, rent/lease on shop space, equipment rentals,etc. Myself I keep it simple so I can price better than the bigger companies, but then again, I don't go after the bigger jobs that they do.

There is no doubt that there are a lot of hacks out there, we just have to educate people as to making the right choices. I can tell a tire kicker within the first five minutes of a call, so I'll try to turn them around and think quality. If they keep insisting on cheap pricing, I tell them I'll get back to them. And I will prepare an estimate for them, based on quality products, knowing that they are still looking to cheap out. Anyone out there looking for reno work will always find the price they want to pay eventually. Like they say- pay now, or pay later.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time2/17/2009 at 7:08:15 PM

Well I see how this is going and maybe lets get some facts straight. Since 1991 I have charged double the amount of the materials total and I made a great living off it. That has been the going rate as long as I can remember. There have been times that I have given people a better deal because they are repeat customers. There are also times that I have over priced jobs on purpose because I did not want the hassle. Some times I still get the job because people no who I am! OK maybe my head has swelled a little over the years but does that make me a good contractor or a bad contractor. The guy's I am complaining about are the so called contractors that wish to make a hundred hear a hundred there. Example there is a contractor that gave the same materials that I would have a little sloppy work but not to bad. It cost $3000 in materials I would have charge $6000 plus GST in my old day's and maybe even now because the way things are going. this guy charge $4000.00 and was there for ten day's who is right and who is wrong. Think about it.

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Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time2/20/2009 at 4:35:12 PM

Well, I can`t say you are wrong for sure, you have your beliefs and morals, more importantly you need to make a living. My biggest peve is when some hot head contractor puts the little guys down because they charge a lot less, as if that was a bad thing thing to do. We charge less because we care enough about repeat business, the customers happiness and our own ethics. Since when is a contractor a shotty one who is bad news just because he charges less, it does not mean that he/she is going to give a customer crap workmanship. As bill stated about the little guys, we don`t have all the overhead so we don`t need to charge our clients a fortune. In my own case, I am looking to make a great living for my family and I, that is as simple as I am, for those guys out there that talk shit about not giving quality because the customer doesn't want top of the line product is just so full of it.

Bottom line, if I want the cheap flooring then that's what I want, it does not and should not mean that I should do a crap job of installing it because it cost less. It sounds like politicians when a contractor expects a client to pay double the cost simply because the contractor owes a lot of money in his personal life, that's his problem and clients should not pay more because of a contractors lifestyle choice. Do you think it is fair that you as a tax payer should pay double for your land because Harper wants a new yacht ? Me either. No, not directed at you personally but hell this could get a little heated in this forum. take care.

Brad

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time2/21/2009 at 1:33:30 PM

Okay fellas, back to your corners.

Michael, Brad- we as contractors can choose to charge whatever the hell we want for a job- we may not get any work , but we can price whatever. I live in a small town & if I tell someone that I am going to charge them $20,000.00 for a bathroom renovation, I better save the cardboard box the tub comes in because It'll be my new address. Brad mentioned before that personality will get you the job- if you're an uptight prick on a call, people will pick up on that and will be glad to get rid of you. If you are easy going and make jokes- as I do- you put the client at ease and they are more comfortable with you doing work for them. Quite often they will become a regular client, and will recommend you to their friends.

Bottom line- charge whatever you want. I price all jobs fairly, based on what the client expects and the duration/difficulty level. When I'm busy, I throw on a little more, but when things slow down, like now, I price to get the job. Why? I've got a family & we have to eat.

We can argue these points forever, but we all use different products, which price out differently, some have more employees that have to be paid, on and on. I agree with you Brad 100%- just because I price a job lower than someone else, it does not make me a bad contractor- matter of fact, if by pricing low I can feed my family & keep up with my bills in this economy, I'd say that makes me pretty fuckin smart, not a bad contractor at all.

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Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time3/3/2009 at 9:04:19 PM

That is right, in this day and age or any other it is not wise to screw anyone out of their hard earned money, with a fragile economy comes fragile families, some of those families are families of us contractors. So for those contractors out there that think its fair, your new address could soon be the cardboard box from Bills latest bathtub install.

Remember... Just because we can charge more is not a reason to charge more.

Brad

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