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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The H/O is very elderly, and not entirely with it
When she wants me to do a job, I will contact the daughter before begining any work
Just to check with her, make sure it's cool

Well the daughter is moving back in
I contracted a small reno job with her
She has now decided that the price was too high (the job is finished) and she doesn't want to pay me the other half
As the amount is just under a grand, I really don't want to get a lawyer, but I also want my money
I am hoping the threat of a lien would lossen her purse strings, but I am unsure of my actual legal rights in a case like this

The daughter owns a business, but no house
The business is incorporated

Since I contracted with the daughter, (I'm sure mom gave her the money, but whatever), can I put a lien on the Mother's house?
 

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I could, the lien goes against the property where the work was done. Small claims court would be another avenue. You do have a contract don't you?????
 

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iF YOU DON'T HAVE A CONTRACT CHALK THE $1000 up to tuition in the school of hard knocks and never ever do a job of any size without a contract even if it's for a repat customer.

If you have a contract send a letter of intent to lien property. Then call the customer and tell them you must be paid by X day or you will file a lien. Obviously the letter will state the same thing. Lastly on X day if you have not been paid call the customer and tell her you are either driving to her house to pick up the money or to the court house to file the lien, slam the car door and let her here the ding ding ding of your key in the ignition.

I bet that will get a reaction.
 

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I was only in small claims court one time, - - guy 'cancelled' a small job on the day it was to start, - - I already had his down payment, - - but he didn't want to pay even for the time I had already spent picking up his materials, which I would now have to return. I was only going to charge him $300.

Ended up I told him I'm keeping the whole down payment then, - - take me to court.

Court took the 'common sense' approach, - - awarded me 'that' money (it was $800), - - and told him I could 'technically' still hold him to the whole contract ($2400).

First time ever in small claims court helped (about 15 years in business at that time), - - no insurance claims (ever), - - and no BBB complaints (ever).

The guy apologized outside the court room, - - and actually wanted to know if he would be able to retain my services next time, - - yeah, right!!
 

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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys
I just didn't want to drop the bomb and find out that it had no teeth

Teetorbilt said:
You do have a contract don't you?????
Yes
And I haven't run into this before
I really don't get how someone can sign papers, and then change their mind later
What is she thinking: well that was quicker and easier than I thought, he doesn't deserve the money I agreed to give him?

She signed a frikin contract

I'm glad I got half anyway

I'm wondering if mom gave her the money, and now she's trying to keep the change


*For the mom I didn't always use a contract
It's usually just little stuff for her, under 200 bucks, and trying to explain the contract is not worth the effort, I'll just check in with the daughter and then just do it - guess that's not going to happen again

This was not one of those cases, the daughter contacted me, and my dealings were with her alone on this one
I don't remember if she balked about the contract then, but she signed it
 

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Balking at any point, post signing, means nothing. You have a contract. I am assumining that you upheld your end of it.
Next step, feel out the HO with the contract in hand. "We agreed to do A, right? Is it done to your satisfaction? We agreed to do B, right?.......
We are in agreement that the contract has been fulfilled, is there another reason that you feel that I am not to be paid?
My only options at this point is to attach the property with a lien or go to small claims court. Do you have a preference?

I have never made it past this point. The threat of a lien against their property scares them worse than court. Stupid but true.
 

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Keep in mind int he great State of IL there is a 3 day rigyht of refusal where if the home owner signs the contract with you present in the home they have 3 days to cancel the contract with no legal ramifications. This is to protect the customer from high pressure salesmen who won't leave until you sign... Ahem... Sears.

I liened a property once then I got sued to remove the lien. Go figure. Our lawyers worked it out. That was years ago, when I was just starting in sales.
 

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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Grumpy said:
Keep in mind int he great State of IL there is a 3 day rigyht of refusal where if the home owner signs the contract with you present in the home they have 3 days to cancel the contract with no legal ramifications.
Yeah we have that here too
 

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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Teetorbilt said:
Next step, feel out the HO with the contract in hand. "We agreed to do A, right? Is it done to your satisfaction? We agreed to do B, right?.......
We are in agreement that the contract has been fulfilled, is there another reason that you feel that I am not to be paid?
My only options at this point is to attach the property with a lien or go to small claims court. Do you have a preference?
I am hoping this works, I just didn't want to use the L word if it wasn't an option, seeing as the daughter isn't the property owner

In reality I suppose if it does go past this point, small claims might be a better option for me
If I understand it correctly, the lawyer fee to put a lien on the house would be more than 1/2 of the money she owes me
Small claims I don't think you even need a lawyer
 

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Custom Builder
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I never have had to place a lien, but done my research a few times, the paperwork is simple and fees are small, why would you want to pay an attorney?

Grump, I know we've talked about this however I'll state my case again, In IL every attorney and court/records clerk I've talked to said the same, If you have a witness and you've sent a notice of intent, you need no contract, verbal stands for lien placement. However, I imagine that bounces around in the court room a bit.

Bob

However I do use a contract:Thumbs:
 

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Knight of Ni!
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In FLA you don't need a lawyer to file a lien, it's easy. You do however have to have filed a "notice of commencement" at the courthouse and have a permit for the work. You also only have a certain time period to do it according to the notice so get going. goodluck.
 

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Knight of Ni!
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Similar to Glass, in FLA you don't need a lawyer to file a lien, it's easy. You do however have to have filed a "notice of commencement" at the courthouse and have a permit for the work. You also only have a certain time period to do it according to the notice so get going. goodluck.
 

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An individual cannot legally represent a company even if it is theirs. So is a member of the company able to file a lien? I have never been through this so I do not know how the law looks at the lien filing process.
 

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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmm..I guess I just assumed I would need a lawyer and about 500 beans to file a lien...maybe not....
I think I got that from going through the old threads here...

If I can bypass a lawyer that'd be great
 

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Teetorbilt said:
I could, the lien goes against the property where the work was done.
Just recently did a siding job where the father paid for the daughter's house to be sided. I requested that both he and his daughter sign the contract for this reason. Not sure of the complications involved in having a contract dispute over material change to property not owned by the bound party. In the end only the home owner signed it sue to father being out of town, but I made sure she understood that it obligated her to the payment schedule not her father. I would seek a lawyers opinion if I were in your shoes.

Good luck,
Jon
 

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I would file against here in small claims. Its minimal money with maxium attention. I not sure how much but it can't be over 50. When those papers show up. You will get your money. Minus the 50 filing fee but i figure you don't have a problem with that. now if you actually go into court. She has no defense because of the contract. Then you will not be out anything because she will have to pay court cost.
 

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J2Jonner said:
Just recently did a siding job where the father paid for the daughter's house to be sided. I requested that both he and his daughter sign the contract for this reason. Not sure of the complications involved in having a contract dispute over material change to property not owned by the bound party. In the end only the home owner signed it sue to father being out of town, but I made sure she understood that it obligated her to the payment schedule not her father. I would seek a lawyers opinion if I were in your shoes.

Good luck,
Jon
Jon,

I think that's good business practice. The contract should be signed by the homeowner regardless of who is paying the bills, this obligates the homeowner to the debt, you could careless if daddy is going to be paying for it.
 

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...jammin
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mike Finley said:
... The contract should be signed by the homeowner regardless of who is paying the bills
It hadn't really occured to me that some thing like this (what happened to me) could happen, so I really didn't think of this as a policy
It certainly now is
"The contract must be signed by the owner of the property where the work is being performed"

I'm assuming the bill payer should also be able to sign if they'd like?
It is their money, I wouldn't blame them for wanting their John Hancock somewhere
Could that run into problems?

Or would who actually pays be "not my problem" ?
The contract is with the property owner
 

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slickshift said:
I'm assuming the bill payer should also be able to sign if they'd like?
It is their money, I wouldn't blame them for wanting their John Hancock somewhere
Could that run into problems?

Or would who actually pays be "not my problem" ?
The contract is with the property owner
For me at least, future situations like this will require the signature of both parties. I moved forward with only the homeowners signature only to have daddy complain about the selection of materials and scope of work. I told him "well sir, I called you and asked if you had time to review the contract and you stated that you daughter had signed it and you were OK with that. Now I can add X for $X would you like to look over the change order?" It appears that daughter was weary of spending dad's money..

Laughable details... Homeowner wanted to scratch vinyl shutters from the scope of work (5 windows one face only) and have me pull and rehang her 15 year old rotten wood shutters over the new vinyl. She said she would have her brother paint them before I reinstalled. I politely said I would have to double the estimate for that kind of labor, as an alternative we could scratch the shutters altogether and she could handle that on her own. The kicker - the contract price for the 5 pair of shutters installed was $200. Job was close to my home, gave them the neighbor price, and they still b***. In the end the father was ranting and raving and the change order was written up.

I'm instituting a pain-in-the-ass customer mark-up percentage.. Now if only I could find out before the contract is signed?

Cheers,
Jon
 
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