Charlotte, North Carolina-based City View Terraces is currently facing allegations of “catastrophic construction defects” — and has apparently faced “dozens” of liens and lawsuits, putting the status of its properties in serious jeopardy.
Subcontractors who have worked with City View Terraces (which operates as a general contractor as well as a realtor for the homes it builds) have noted the difficulty of getting paid by the company.
“…his business model is to pay you later. Just, point-blank, file a lien,” said Mark Brummond, owner of Garage Door Doctor, a contractor that worked on a number of projects for the company.
According to Brummond, when payment was requested, City View Terraces owner Chris Bradshaw simply told him to file a lien rather than receive payment.
“He’s not going to change — so I would run,” Brummond said as general advice to people who might work with City View Terraces.
These alleged patterns of nonpayment seem to have impacted City View Terraces just as much as they’ve impacted subcontractors, impacting the company’s client base.
A complaint filed by a homebuyer with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission notes that the client paid a $25,000 deposit on a property prior to finding out the company had allegedly more than $1.5 million in liens and litigation pending against it, alleging that the company “did not disclose the judgments that would prevent [the client] from closing.”
Another similar complaint filed with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors claims that a homebuyer entered into a contract with City View Terraces and paid a $30,000 deposit. However, third-party inspections conducted by the homebuyer apparently discovered significant construction flaws, with the complaint additionally claiming that the “deposit is being held hostage by Bradshaw.”
“I’ve been doing home inspection since 1986 and I have never seen anything like this,” the inspector wrote. “This is supposed to be engineered trusses at an angle which were not ordered and installed, and someone has tried to make something up after the fact that I’m afraid will collapse in the near future.”
Situations like this continually highlight the importance of contractor prequalification. For subcontractors, cash flow relies heavily on the process of making new connections, and it’s important to make connections that are going to keep that cash flow coming — because being told simply to file a lien when you ask for payment is every contractor’s worst nightmare.
Payment history can be one of the most important parts of the prequalification process, especially in situations like that of City View Terrace where the company has a number of outstanding payment problems.
For larger and more established contractors, it can be helpful to check credit through a reporting agency. Additionally, Levelset’s Contractor Payment Profiles help keep track of payment history as well as reviews from past customers and vendors.
“If you’re considering working with a new construction company, it’s important to look at their payment practices over time,” advises construction lawyer Alex Benarroche. “If a contractor has a history of slow payments, lien filings, or other payment disputes, do you really want to work with them? I’m guessing you’d much rather work with the contractor with a history of on-time payments; the builder who gets raving reviews from the subs and suppliers they work with.”
Of course, there are two sides to every story — despite recent reports, Bradshaw has defended the allegations against his company.
In an email, Bradshaw’s attorney wrote that problems with City View Terrace were responsible for outside issues rather than company dysfunction, saying “There were delays associated with construction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and a subcontractor passing away…however, these units will be out of foreclosure within the next few weeks as more progress is made on completion.”
Bradshaw’s attorney disputed this complaint and said “the (complainant) is confused as to what is and is not a lien impacting title.” He said the home closed last year.
In an email to Charlotte news station WBTV, Bradshaw wrote “If any buyer is not happy, we will simply refund their deposit and re-list the property for 5-10% more.” He also claimed there were no outstanding liens.
Bradshaw’s attorney also claimed that all the liens filed had been paid. However, in North Carolina, court records are not available publicly online, making the verification of this claim difficult. As of time of reporting, Charlotte news station WBTV found several liens and judgments that appeared to be outstanding and were filed as recently as December 2021.