Does a painting company have the legal obligation to disclose to a homeowner the fact thatit subcontracts the labor?

UPDATED: May 29, 2011

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Does a painting company have the legal obligation to disclose to a homeowner the fact thatit subcontracts the labor?

I entered a contract with a painting company. The company did not disclose the fact that they would be subcontracting the labor. Verbally, the owner of the painting company indicated that he would most likely be working on-site himself. The labor done was not of the quality verbally indicated by the owner of the company. What are my legal owners’ rights?

Asked on May 29, 2011 under General Practice, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) As a general matter, a business may subcontract out work, UNLESS the agreement between the parties specifically bars or prohibits this. Furthermore, there is no general obligation to disclose subcontracting, again, unless there is a contractual term to the contrary.

2) The above said, if prior to entering into the contract, the owner had represented to you that he would be personally working on-site, and that representation was a material (or key or important part) inducement to you hiring him, then if at the time he made the representation, he knew he would not be doing this (i.e., the representation was false when he made it), this might consitute fraud. Fraud might provide grounds to recover monetary damages.

3) If the work done is not of general commercially acceptable quality, you may be able to recover on a breach of contract theory (you didn't get what you paid for and agreed to pay for). Or if you signed the contract based on certain representations about quality, it is *possible* that those representations would be considered to be incorporated into the agreement or contract, providing a benchmark for quality--unless there is some term or clause in the contract stating that the contract supercedes any prior understandings.

There are thus seveal possible grounds for recovery. (Note: a problem, of course, with any theory based on oral or verbal represenations is proving them, if you and the other party disagree as to what was said; i.e. what evidence can you provide?) If you can't work something out with the company and its owner, you may be able to sue, and therefore may wish to consult with an attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your situation in more detail. Good luck.

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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