The roofer threatens to put a lien on the house

8 Replies

A roofer did a job for me. The quote we talked about is about $7200 without replacing rotten wood.

When I asked him how much rotten wood he would have to replace at the maximum he said it would cost $ 1000

After finishing work, he sent me invoice for $ 15,000, double the price we closed !!

I was present at work, and there he hardly replaced a wood. He claims that most of the charge on the garage.

Now he threatens to put Lien on the house.

Anyone know what steps I can take?

Look at your written contract. Usually there's going to be something somewhere that limits the size of a change order or additional work without a signature/approval. If you don't have anything there, ask him for some proof of the work he did replacing rotten wood. Unless he has his own lumberyard, he should have receipts or other proof of work for that scope of wood repair.

If you don't have anything in writing, then you are going to have to depend on the courts to sort it out. So you really shouldn't just talk about work that expensive, especially if you don't know the company. 

Originally posted by @Yamit Besso :

So if he put Lien on the house, what's the process? Can I object to that and then go to court?

What was the price on the contract you signed.


@Yamit Besso Every state has very specific lien laws. For example one major difference is whether it is residential or commercial. Contractors have to follow strict rules for liens and if they dont, it can be invalidated. Look up your state property code. Talk to a lawyer that specializes in liens. It will depend a lot on the wording in the contract. If there was no contract it will be tougher. But to answer your question, you can appeal the lien, file complaints with the state or professional associations. Its an unpleasant situation so I hope you get through it.

@Yamit Besso

There is really nothing stopping him from filing a bogus lien. Sounds like it is just a scare tactic to get you to pay more. You should pay him what you agreed to in the contract if the work is done.

You can definitely contest the lien. But you will need to show a signed contract and that you weren’t notified of any changes.

Every state has their own lien laws, so I would definitely recommend talking to an attorney that is familiar with liens before you do anything. A couple hundred bucks to have an attorney point you in the right direction is probably worth it.

I hope you had a signed contract for this. Or at the very least, any type of written communication (e-mail, text) about the price. Let him put a lien and if you have a contract, or written expectations of pricing, then hang onto it.

Frankly I don't know who this guy thinks he is, my guess is you didn't do the right work up front and now he's taking advantage of you -- meaning I'd also be super concerned about the work he did because it seems disingenuous. Did you guys not speak at all about pricing/scope changes during the project? Did he not let on that this was coming?

Again, as others have said...what does your contract say?

Without a written, signed contract he is going to have a difficult time getting a proper lien filed. A contract can be verbal but there is a dispute over the terms here, and that's going to be a word vs. word issue that a court will have to sort out. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not even licensed and/or bonded, which would explain the lack of written contract.