Hope someone can help me with my issue. So I hired a general contractor to do a commercial project for me. His job was to wash the unit, paint and fix the walls, do plumbing. I knew him from the previous projects so I didn't bother to have any document or agreement signed (stupid i know). So he washed and painted the walls (without fixing them). And now he screwing me up and saying that nothing else will be done and he is leaving because my project is too small and he has bigger money waiting.
Anyway, I didn't have a quote from him (only verbal that painting will cost me approx 2k-2.5k$ total) for the painting part (materials I bought by myself) and he is quoting me right now way too high that it was verbally discussed. So what are my and his rights here? Am I obligated to pay? Can he take me to the court? What can I do in this case to protect myself?
Again, I have nothing regarding the price on the paper, messages or emails. No quotes. Only promises that everything will be done in no time.
Thank you in advance
The importance of a professional estimate and contract regardless of the cost of the project is highly important for reasons like this.
Fortunately for you, as you mentioned nothing was documented on either side. If this is correct Your GC doesn't really have a leg to stand on, neither do you.
Always demand documentation and protect yourself from anyone you hire to work for you.
I am terribly sorry to hear you are having to go through this! I hate how contractors like that give our industry such a bad rep.
Anyway, onto your question.
From what information you have provided, it seems that this would be a case of a verbal contract. These are hard to prove if you have no supporting documents. You might be in for a rough ride if you choose to take this to small claims court.
That being said I would try and have a documentented conversation (over email), stating the issue and that you want to pay, but only on the verbally agreed price. He/she may accept this and move on to not deal with any hassle. You can in turn use those emails in court as some sort of documentation that you tried to resolve the issue before going legal.
The contractor, without a contract can theoretically
charge anything and claim that was the agreed upon price. They may put a lean on the property too if you continue to refuse to pay.
Personally, in this situation, I would issue payment for what was verbally agreed on and tell thrm thats all they get, sorry. Try to not let it go legal. Most of the time the court takes the side of the home owner, but not always.
I know you have heard this a thousand times. But, don't ever do work without a written agreement.
I know this may not help much, I am not a lawyer, just a contractor trying to offer advice. You may want to contact a professional business lawyer.
I hope this resolves in your favour!
This an issue of fair market value if you are able to prove that the job is worth 2k to 2.5k to any other contractor then you would be able to argue the merit of the job.
The other side of this is that this is a he said she said in small claims court his obligation is to prove that he quoted you the project at the price and your obligation is to prove that his quote is not fair market value.
Your best option is to pay what you agreed upon and see if he wants to argue the difference in court and in saying that if he excepts the payment then the contract has been fulfilled.
I am not a lawyer but I have seen this happen to a lot of people.
Thank you everyone for the replies.
I think first thing to do is to get a quote from another contractor.
Then act accordingly.
But anyway, lesson is learned.
Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.Find your home service pro