Legal advise about sueing a contractor


Old 03-19-08, 09:04 PM
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Legal advise about sueing a contractor

We hired a contractor to install tile in our house. Result is a disaster, we lost a lot of money and time. Finally before they finish the job, we fired them. Looks like only way to fix our house is new tile installation which we will need money we already paid to contractor.
Does anyone has an advise how to approch to this matter?
Thank you
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Old 03-20-08, 03:32 AM
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Did you have a written contract or was this a handshake type deal?

I assume you would need to sue him in small claims and I suspect it would be easier if you have a written contract, especially if it is detailed on how the job was to be done.
Old 03-20-08, 09:26 AM
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We have a written proposal with his info. No signature. Will that be enough. I am not sure about small claims court because amount is high, around $ 15.500 including tile.
Old 03-20-08, 10:32 AM
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A $15,000 job with no contract! Aaaaaagh!

Good luck, but I've been sued by and sued contractors in small claims court and the first thing the judge wanted to see was the contract.

It sounds like the tile job was only a portion of the work you paid for. Is that the case? If the 15G was for tile alone, you are correct in that it probably exceeds SCC limits.

See a lawyer, show him what you have and take his advice.

Next time - a written contract. Make sure it is explicit and contains everything you are paying for.
Old 03-20-08, 10:53 AM
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Old 03-21-08, 06:56 AM
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Around here, the limit for small claims is $5K. This is a large enough amount to warrant talking to a lawyer first.
Old 04-14-08, 05:15 PM
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Legal approach to tile job

Depending on your state's laws, you might have another much more favaorable recourse. Many states have set up a stae agency that licences home-improvement contractors, and if they fail to abide by the terms of the agreement, the state agency is the one to take them to court. It doesn't cost the homeowner a penny.
Speaking specifically for the State of Maryland, not only must a home-improvement contractor be licensed, but they also have to post a bond of no less tha $15,000.00. There are a meriad of other requirements that they must abide by as well, such as written contract, specific terms, etc, etc.
On top of everything else, if a contractor performs home-improvement services (defined under the law) without a valid home-imoprvement license, the contractor is subject to criminal sanctions and are absolutely sent to jail for subsequent offenses.
The law works quite well here in Maryland, and I've also heard positive reports about similar laws in other states as well. It actually makes sense since many homeowners are unskilled in both home repair needs as well as their legal recourse in the event things don't go as hoped.
I see this original post is a month or so old, so perhaps it's not too late for you to make this inquiry of your state government. If they have such an office, avail yourself of it; if they don't, get in touch with your local state senator and ask him/her to introduce such a measure modeled on maryland's Home Improvement Law. It will be there for you or your neighbor the next time.

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