Is it legal for contractor to withhold a ‘retainer’ from sub-contractor and then refuse to pay as stated

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal for contractor to withhold a ‘retainer’ from sub-contractor and then refuse to pay as stated

Is it legal for a contractor to withhold a retainer from a sub-contractor check
for each job performed and then refuse to pay it one year from last service as
stated? There is no written contract agreeing to retainer and now that it has
been requested the contractor has claimed false claim to the retainer. I am in
North Carolina and it is excess of 2500.00

Asked on February 15, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your question is essentially answered by, "There is no written contract agreeing to retainer." When there is no agreement to allow the contractor to withhold or keep a "retainer," the contractor has no right to it. Rather, the contractor must pay you the full amount he originally agreed to pay you for the work. If he does not, you could sue him for the money for "breach of contract": for violating the agreement as to what you would be paid.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption