A question for the lawyers in the house: Should I worry?

5 Replies

Hello BP'ers,

Wanted to ask all of you a question regarding a recent situation with a contractor that I'm dealing with.

Back in May of 2013 I renovated a kitchen in one of my rental properties. I hired an electrician to do all of the electrical work to the tune of $2500. Just an FYI, we did not pull permits (I know, I know). I paid him half ($1250)up front and he did most of the wiring. After the sheetrock was finished I called him back to finish the job (install all the appliances, do all the recessed lighting, all the switches, etc. He never returned my call. I left messages, texts, and received nothing for 3 weeks. I finally said the hell with it and called another electrician to finish the job. The second electrician cost me $1500 to finish everything the other contractor didn't do.

After a month goes by the electrician calls me up finally and tells me "I'm ready to come by and finish". I told him that because he never returned my calls and I needed to finish the kitchen, I hired another electrician. He was all huffy and puffy and told me he was going to report me for not having a building permit. I wasn't too worried because I knew he would be shooting himself in the foot if he reported it because it would put his own license in jeopardy.

Fast forward to November 2014 (today).I received a bill from that electrician (over a year later!) for $500 with the invoice for "Owners choice to finish job with another contractor". In the invoice he states 2% interest will be charged every month it is late.

My question is, Do I need to worry here? Should I just ignore this invoice? Does he have any recourse to file suit and if so does he have a case?

Thanks in advance for all your help BP'ers!

He's just a blow hard, piece of sh$$.  I'd ignore it all together, period.  If you really feel the need I'd send him a two sentence response.  "You failed for a month to show up to finish the work when notified, and didn't even return repeated phone calls.  No need to bother me with this any further, and I won't respond any further to the matter".  Note: this is my...kinder, gentler way of responding I'm working on, as opposed to my previous contractor days type response....which have been a two word response.  Not sure which one's more effective though, in this case.

Sounds like he is hard up for money and is trying to bully you into paying him. Do not pay him. Possibly type up a letter explaining why you originally fired him from the job and how you will not be paying him anything. Sign/date it. Mail to him. Keep on record. He will never bother you again.

Wayne, I would say you covered it!

"You were fired for leaving the job half finished, and did not pull required electrical permits as per code.. feel free to go f yourself"

In my legal opinion, if you had a contract with him and he didn't finish the job and you hired someone else to finish, he is entitled to the profit on the job. Both of you may not have had a start date and completion date, just because he didn't return your calls when you wanted him to. Don't pay him, but if he takes you to court, you may lose .

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