What can I do if my contractor is delaying work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my contractor is delaying work?

I hired a patio contractor to get my patio done. I paid the full amount for the contract based on his oral commitment that he would order materials and start the work in 2 weeks. That was 4 months ago. I have the invoice as proof that I paid. He showed up 2 months back and started work, however, it is not yet completed. At one point, he didn’t show up for last 3 weeks. He never provides updates and I have to keep on following up. The calls I make are never picked and I get very minimal response through text. On top of it, the patio that he is building is by agreed measurement, yet it became smaller. I paid him from my home equity and I am paying interest for it. I am not sure when my patio gets completed and will it be with agreed measurements. The whole patio can be completed in 6 days. I want to hire a new contractor to get the work done faster. I want to get my money back from the current contractor.

Asked on May 23, 2017 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that your contrator is not acting in good faith, is not honoring the terms of the agreement, and/or misled you, you could sue him for "breach of contract" (violating the terms of the contract/agreement) and/or "fraud" (lying to you about what he could/would do, to get you to sign up with him). That is how you could legally cancel the contract and get monetary compensation (some of your money back; he'd likely be able to keep any amounts related to work which has been completed, so long as the work is up to commercially acceptable standards). After you file suit, you and he could voluntarily settle the matter on any terms acceptable to both of you. If the amount at stake is less than or equal to the small claims court limit, suing in small claims, as your own attorney ("pro se") is a good choice.

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