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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Are there standards by which an invoice must be held? Such as; itemization of products and services? How vague/detailed can/must the invoice be? Also, what prohibits a contractor from misrepresenting the status of the contract to a third party financier? This has taken place in Utah.

Are there standards by which an invoice must be held? Such as; itemization of products and services? How vague/detailed can/must the invoice be? Also, what prohibits a contractor from misrepresenting the status of the contract to a third party financier? This has taken place in Utah.

UtahPayment Disputes

six months ago I contracted with a Home Improvement contractor for home updated according to the Rocky Mountain Power and Questar gas/Thermwise rebates program. The contractor failed to give me a detailed quote for services after numerous requests in the beginning, I only ever received an umbrella estimate. The windows, door, and LED lights were eventually installed, but none have been installed per my request or the representation of the salesman; not a single window has been insulated, the door was improperly and incompletely installed, the LED lights are not 'dimmable' as they were promised to be. Since that time I have complained to the contractor who 'assured' me the re-installs would be done and all would be fixed. He then had his installer call me and tell me that my complaints did not fall within his contract, he was not liable for the insulation, what I saw as being improper installations, the pre-install prep work, or the 'aesthetics' of the windows. Prior to the phone call, at the same meeting with the contractors representative, I recorded him asking me to misrepresent the status of the contract to my third party financier so he could get paid. Again he 'assured' me that the project would be completed to my full satisfaction prior to me ever being billed by the financier. I have since paid my first bill, received a very vague (and fraudulent) invoice from the contractor for services not covered by the financing, and nothing has been fixed. The windows have not been re-installed, I had to re-install the door in order to eliminate some of the drafts now that the weather has changed, I still have no insulation in my attic (guaranteed to an R-50 per contract), my lights have not been changed out for dimmable LED's at his expense (I have had to change a handful of them at my expense), the 'home pressure test' has never been conducted, the outlets have never been insulated, the infrared photos of the interior and exterior of the home have never been performed, and the third party financier has supplied all monies to the contractor after the contractor misrepresented the status of the contract and my 'complete' satisfaction to them.

1 reply

Nov 7, 2018
I'm very sorry to hear about that. The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing ("UDOPL") holds licensed contractors to the standards set by the Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act. At their site, visitors can check on their contractor's license, see if that contractor has bee disciplined, and can report any complaints about a contractor for a variety of reasons - including intentionally straying from plans and acting in a deceitful or fraudulent way. For more information about that complaint process, this section of the UDOPL site gives background on the Complaint Process. This is a great resource that breaks down when an investigation might be appropriate, and the site provides a lot of info on how licensed contractors must behave. Finally, as a general matter, legal liability could certainly arise if a contractor has been exaggerating and/or falsifying invoices in order to obtain payments. For a little more background on potential actions against a contractor, it'd be helpful to consult with a local construction attorney so they can review any documentation and communication related to those allegations. Plus, they'll be able to provide advice on how to proceed.
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