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Builder Lied about who the fence contractor was and expects me to pay him based on the agreement we signed.

TexasConstruction ContractMechanics LienPayment Disputes

I had a house built and my builder hired someone to build the fence. We signed an agreement that I would pay the builder after closing on the home based on the estimate he provided. He wouldn't send a copy of the invoice or receipt of the job. I found out the contractor he said did the work, actually did not do the work and I have that in writing. He won't tell me who did the work or if it's under warranty but expects me to pay what's on the contract agreement we signed. If I don't pay him, can he put a mechanical lien on my home if he didn't actually do the work himself?

1 reply

Apr 3, 2018
Regardless of who constructed the fence (whether it was the original contractor, the original contractor's subcontractor, or some other party that was hired by a project participant to perform the work), if payment for the construction of the fence was contemplated in the original contract, the original contractor may likely include the amount in their lien claim. Often, a lot of an original contractor's work will be to orchestrate different construction phases, to make sure all parties are performing their work (in a workmanlike manner), and to manage sending payments down the chain. Delegation of work is common. While original contractors certainly also provide labor and/or materials themselves, it's understood that not all work must be performed strictly by the original contractor and no one else. Unless a signed agreement strictly stipulates otherwise, that an original contractor hired a subcontractor to perform certain work might be irrelevant. Of course, if this action by the original contractor is out of line with the agreement, the work might not be lienable. Finally, it's worth noting that mechanics liens can likely get filed, even where the lien might be invalid for some reason or another. Recorders offices often lack the bandwidth and even the authority to scrutinize every lien filed. So the possibility of a lien filing may also loom on the horizon, even if such a filing might be improper.
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