What to do if someone who performed work on my property for fee now wants payment for it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if someone who performed work on my property for fee now wants payment for it?

I purchased a property jointly 50/50 almost 2 years ago. We spent over 12 months doing building work and decorating. My father, who can turn his hand to most building jobs, offered his assistance and skills due to renovating several properties over the year. He did, however, state on several occasions verbally that if my partner and I sell or separate he would like payment for his work in the region of 20k. My partner and I are now separating and my father has raised this issue again? Is he entitled to any payment.

Asked on December 22, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, there was an an oral agreement that if you and your partner separated, you would pay your father $20k for his work: he stated that he would want payment for his work if you separated, and you allowed him to continue doing the work. By allowing him to do the work after he stated his condition(s) for working, you implicitly agreed to those terms; therefore, based on what you write, he could raise a reasonable claim for compensation and were he to sue you, you might lose and have to pay. Therefore, you and your partner may wish to try to settle with your father--perhaps  he will accept less money, and/or payment over time.

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