Las Vegas Handyman runs with $9THOUSAND DOLLARS, threatens more..

2 Replies

This one is a doozy. My boyfriend owns a property in Vegas that when the tenant moved out we decided to renovate. Due to living in California, we didn't want to do this ourselves, so we used a handyman that was recommended to us by our property manager for a different rental. My boyfriend was doing an extensive remodel. Scraping ceilings, new floors, doors, cabinets, countertops, the works. He coordinated this work to be done with the "handyman" and we went up after it was completed to do a quick check of the property. What followed was something STRAIGHT OUT OF A BAD HGTV SHOW. 

We came to find the property had been broken into due to the front door being installed so poorly it was unable to lock.  As I walked into the living room the laminate floor swayed like a see-saw underneath my feet. A sign of the workmanship to come... The kitchen tile was laid with no grout lines at all. It was so uneven that I worried a tenant may cut themselves on the  sharp corners purtruding upwards. The cabinets were haphazardly put together and hung unevenly on the walls. They were installed in such a way that all access to the waterlines was now blocked. After inspecting our uneven flooring, we popped up a floorboard and found that the laminate was actually installed on top of the old carpet!!! Not just that! The carpet had pieces of the scraped popcorn ceiling throughout! Our uneven kitchen and bathroom tile was also installed over the old tile. This made the flooring so high that none of the interior doors could open or close. We stood aghast. Waiting for someone to tell us this was a joke. We brought this up to the "handyman" and they agreed that this was inexcusable and that they would pay us back our $9000 for materials and labor. But of course, when it came time to sign the contract her tune changed. Not only was she not willing to pay our money, but she wants us to pay her the rest of what she would have been owed had this work been done properly, or she will attempt to put a lien on the property. 

Is it worth the $9000 to pursue this? Should we be charging for the lost rent and the fact that all of this has to be redone? We now have to pay double the cost of demo due to two layers of flooring being removed. What would you do next? 

Well first, unless they are a licensed contractor their lien means nothing but an inconvenience. I would first talk to the person who recommended them and ask them to talk to them. If it was truly a referral they must have some pull. You could report them to the Nevada state contractor board and I think it’s the Nevada Secretary of State. Not sure which department right now but there’s one that handles claims like these. You could also have an attorney draft up a letter. I see those work sometimes. However, if they took your money and the work was done they might have paid some people to do it and the job came out bad. Maybe they took on more than they could handle. I see this happen with “handyman” a lot. I find a lot of times if you can get the other person to at least engage in a solution based conversation people will try their best to fix their mistakes. But sometimes you just get taken and it’s the cost of not properly vetting new people and releasing too much money upfront. Either way the lessons you learned here will a last you a lifetime and you will be able to make it back in future transactions. Finally, plug into local REIAs. They can refer you to some great people. If you need any further help feel free to reach out. Good luck 

@Sierra Crisp , I agree with @Omar Merced , he is correct. Only licensed trades person can put a valid lien on a property for unpaid  goods and services. Any unlicensed person can be charged with filing a false lien. Unfortunately you may have to chalk this one up as a lesson. you can report them to the Contractors State Board but that will only get them fined. The Board will not go after your funds for you. File a claim in small claims court after taking pictures and getting 2 quotes for repair by Licensed Contractors. 

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