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Vendor never billed me for work done

13 posts by 8 users

Bienes Raices

from Orlando, Florida

Sep 22 '10, 11:26 PM

I had extra insulation put in the attic of the rental house almost 2 months ago. It was about $500 worth of work. I there & ready to pay with a check at the end of the job but the workers said they didn't have a bill for me and that I would receive one in the mail. I waited a month and didn't receive a bill. I called their office and asked about it and I explained to them they need to send the bill to my address, not the rental house, etc. She told me she would send the invoice to me, she just needed to speak to someone else in her office first. Now another month has gone by and I still haven't received anything from them. Should I just forget about it?

J Scott Verified Moderator Donor

Residential Real Estate Agent from Ellicott City, Maryland

Sep 23 '10, 12:29 AM
1 vote

You've done as much as is reasonable so at this point you just need to cover your your butt in case of later repercussions and forget about it.

If this is a house you plan to hold, they may be able to put a lien against it if they ever realize you didn't pay. Now, in my state, they only have 90 days from work completion to file a lien for non-payment, so I'd forget about it in three months, but you should Check the rules in your state to be safe.

If there is any chance of a future lien, feel free to send an email or certified letter explaining the situation to the company so that you can later prove you tried to do the righht thing.

Medium lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.123flip.com
CHECK OUT MY BIGGERPOCKETS BOOKS: http://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook

J Scott Verified Moderator Donor

Residential Real Estate Agent from Ellicott City, Maryland

Sep 23 '10, 08:23 AM
1 vote

Originally posted by Bienes Raices:
I checked, it's 90 days here too.

Then I wouldn't worry about it...in my opinion, by offering a check at job completion and then following-up with a phone call, you've satisfied your ethical obligation to make good on this.

Of course, if they catch their error down the road, they'll probably send you a bill, at which point you should pay it. If you're concerned about that, place the money aside for a year or so in case you need it to pay them. After a year, it's probably safe to say that they won't catch it...

Medium lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.123flip.com
CHECK OUT MY BIGGERPOCKETS BOOKS: http://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook

Bienes Raices

from Orlando, Florida

Sep 23 '10, 10:36 PM
2 votes

I decided to call them again & they said they would mail bill to me. I'm perfectly willing to pay it, & I would actually use these people again. Their prices were good. But next time I would have to nail them down on the bill immediately.

Josh Green

Banker from Tampa Area, Florida

Sep 24 '10, 12:52 AM

i guess i'm not understanding why u are begging to pay people that obviously don't want to be paid?

Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Sep 24 '10, 01:46 AM
3 votes

I have a plumber who fixed the heating in one of my rentals in mid January (one of coldest days of the winter too) - he still has not billed me even though I have called and asked for the bill a couple of times. Same thing for a sink repair he did last year - it took a while to get the bill.

Now, why do you want to pay somebody who isn't sending you a bill? So that they come back, as in the case with my plumber. So that your reputation continues to be solid (you don't pay and it will get around among the various trades - they get together at job sites and the material suppliers). And when you remind them that they haven't been paid, they might actually tell nice things about you for being honorable.

Do the right thing, treat others as you wish to be treated ...

Josh Green

Banker from Tampa Area, Florida

Sep 24 '10, 12:39 PM

there is a HUGE difference between not paying someone because they haven't billed you and not paying someone who has.

i think the poor business reputation is on the non-billing party.

the right thing is to run a business like a business and expect others to do the same.

Ron Nawrocki

Real Estate Investor from Phoenix, Arizona

Sep 24 '10, 01:29 PM
2 votes

Excellent points in this dialog. I thought I was one of those odd ducks that hounded vendors about the bills.

I agree that reminding them and waiting is the right thing to do. Good vendors are often behind on their billing. If it crosses year-end, create an accrual and that way the expense is in the right tax year.

FYI - one of my best AC vendors did not bill me for July work until January (his slow season) when I reminded him again. After paying promptly he now goes out of his way to waive down payments on jobs that are far bigger.

Integrity pays.

Ryan A.

Investor from Pawcatuck, CT

Sep 24 '10, 02:16 PM

Should we ignore our moral obligations because the contractor is ignoring us?

I doubt the contractor simply does not want to be paid.

This is the definition of integrity. (+1 Ron) Do the right thing even when you think nobody cares. Its tough to do I admit, but it makes us better for it.

Mark N.A

Real Estate Investor from North Carolina

Sep 25 '10, 09:33 AM

"Integrity pays".

I go after my 'mom and pop' vendors who, for whatever reason, haven't billed me in a timely fashion. I take care of them and guess what?.......

They take care of me (usually, or I go do business with their relatives -- ha ha welcome to a small town!....).

Gregory Childs

Real Estate Investor from Acworth, Georgia

Sep 29 '10, 01:02 AM

Maybe send him the $500 check and put a note that you need the receipt. You did the right thing, and you can move on - the next time you need him for work, if he hasn't sent you the reciept he can bring it with him.
You can always put a note in your file with a copy of the check for your accountant.

Bienes Raices

from Orlando, Florida

Sep 29 '10, 03:51 AM

I just received a phone call from them asking when I was going to pay? Then I explained that I had already called them multiple times. Then they read off the address to send bill to and it was still the rental house address instead of mine, even though I told them twice before to send it to me. WTF?

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