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Contractor Did Not Finish Work, Now Threatening To Put a Lien On Property

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Posted by: from Mississauga
10/21/2011 at 9:06:47 PM

I am new to this, but I got huge work started, this guy initially did good job, but took a long time due to his absenteeism, and did not finish the work. He made me pay more than the contract was for, and now he is asking more.

The funny thing he is talking about is putting a lien on my property. Is that possible that just anyone can go and put a claim on my property? Am really scared of the legal issues, please advice me what to do.

Thanks!

REPLIES (4)
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Dave in Oshawa
Date/Time10/25/2011 at 2:20:47 PM

Abe,

I will preface my comments by stating that I am NOT a lawyer and whenever you are faced with something like this, it is best to seek some sort of proper legal advice. I can tell you that the Construction Lien Act does allow a contractor to place a lien againt the title of any property where he has been working. This is supposed to allow for him to be paid outstanding moneys owed for any work he completed on the job. The Construction Lien Act is pretty specific in that it states the contractor has 45 days either from substantial completion of his work, or from the last date that he worked on the property to register his lien. A lien can be placed without the property owner actually knowing that it was filed and will stay with the title of the property unless it is cleared. For a fee, you can do a title search on your own property at your municipal land registry office, or have a legal assistant perform one for you.

I know that doesn't really "help" you, but it should at least explain the system for you.

~ Dave

Henderson Brothers Contracting

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Date/Time10/28/2011 at 4:29:49 PM

Hi Abe,

Again, I'm no Lawyer, but I also believe that unless stated otherwise, your only entitled to pay the amount stated on the contract. A contract is for instances like this, and if the contractor didn't get your approval in writing for a different amount, you should be able to laugh his threats off. The reason you hire a professional is so that the work is done correctly. If the contractor didn't disclose the right information at the beginning on paper, your are not liable for his/her mistakes. There are clauses in all contracts, but you still have to be notified and informed. No contractor is allowed to just start doing work on your home just because they think you need it and then charge you for said work without an agreement.

If you need, you can call me, and I'll be happy to help.

Ryan Heritage

General Manager

Ultima Home Improvements.

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Abe in Mississauga
Date/Time10/30/2011 at 3:24:21 PM

Thanks guys for your replies, I was really frustrated with this guy and his threats and I was not sure how lien works. I don't think law is so blind but information on lien is very vague online. I figured from reading some legal sites that just about anyone can trouble you for a while with a Construction lien in Ontario, that can be filed based on a sworn affidavit. There must be some legal options afterward, but why keep waiting then acting. I have filed a lawsuit against him in small claims court. I want him to see that it's not easy to just go the wrong way, twist your clients' arms, and expect them to keep their purses open for you.

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Maxi Construction Limited in Woodbridge
Date/Time11/9/2011 at 12:04:22 AM

Construction Lien Act provides you with protection against exaggerated liens and you may take the money and pay to someone else to complete the work and the contractor that abandoned the job will be technically in no position to go ahead with the lien. You can also vacate the title if they register a lien. Most of the time those lien threats are just threats.

This is not a legal advice. You should contact an attorney.

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