Can I contractor demand full payment for work without receipts or completion of a job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I contractor demand full payment for work without receipts or completion of a job?

I entered a contract with a unlicensed contractor who has never completed the job to date. I have no receipts or invoices or the work that has been completed, nor the work proposed to be completed. I reversed charges and am pending completion of work to be done with another contractor.

Asked on June 4, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A contractor is not entitled for full payment without completing the full job. He is entitled to payment equivalent or proportionate to that part of the job which he did complete, since you are not allowed to get the benefit of his work without paying for it (e.g. under the theory of "unjust enrichment," which bars a party from being "unjustly"--or unfairly--"enriched"--or benefitted--by getting work, services, etc. without paying).  There is no legal requirement for the provision of receipts or invoices, unless the agreement or contract called for same; the issue again is, what portion of the work was completed?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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