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can a general contractor put a lien on house if his job is NOT done???

MichiganPayment Disputes

new addition is leaking in 7 spots in basement and 3 spots on main floor. Stayed at home all day on Saturday waiting for the injector but no show. NO inspections are done yet. Things are getting stolen and the general contractor wants me to pay for them. I called the police and police officer said civil in matter not police job. He is increasing our contract amount higher and higher and we never even signed for the increases. Yesterday he had the portable potty moved off our property like he is done. The contractor said he is not hanging the doors to the 2 bathrooms, bedrooms, and closets doors also no trim for doors and trim at floor base after he told me to go buy them so I did. he is not cleaning the addition up so my husband and myself and my boys have been cleaning it at least 10 times during the last 5 months. Contractor won't give us a warranty for windows and for the roof. My contractor is also a builder inspector and he inspectors his own stuff. I turned him in but that didn't help. he was suppose to repair stuff---the real builder inspector left and he told dry wall people hurry up and hung that stuff. My drywall was not dry when contractor sent over the painter so my ceiling is falling or notice the lines extremely bad on ceilings and then he put the insulation in attic after painters was done. I was told by drywallers the insulation needs to be in attic before they do the time. When I question the contractor he tells me quit treating him like a child because he is not my son. I paid him 5 payments already $140,000.00 every time he asked for a draw as he called it. When I show him emails that cost is in the bid he will say oh I misspoke myself so it is going to cost you additional $2600.00 plus my 10% fee and my $75.00 to change it. I wanted running water thru the house meaning laundry room, basement bathroom, basement kitchen, 2 outdoor faucets, and our master oh I mean mini bathroom and jet tub in our master bedroom but since I didn't remember to tell him EVERY TIME I changed the size of the bedrooms, office BUT never ever changed that I still wanted running water in salon room, a jet tub, laundry room, basement kitchen, and basement bathroom you don't get any water but just in 1 toilet, 1 sink, 1 shower ONLY because that is code. I wanted 2 consumers meter from day one. OH I forgot to charge you for 2, I only charged you for one so that cost is something like $3600.00 more plus my fee 10% plus my fee $75.00 to change it. my sump pump to ditch is not underground at the beginning then it goes underground but it is not straight at all extremely noticeable everyone laughs about it but it is not funny at all. now this week he wants me to sign off on the leaking stuff and all the stuff he has not completed BUT he wants the original price on contract or his is putting a lien on house. CAN MY CONTRACTOR DO THAT?????? I know I still owe him something but not the original price of contract and I want my addition finish. I want to move in and enjoy the new space even though it is a nightmare on elms street for say and it was suppose to be a life time dream house for me and my family. I designed my house for my golden years and was trying to get it all set up for after I died for my kids to enjoy or for my kids to rent out as apartment A and apartment B for extra income because kids are a life time commitment. From the fire doors, to the 2 propane tanks, to the 2 consumers meters, to the 2 entry doors on both places, to the laundry, kitchen, bathrooms, to the gate, to the new driveway, to its own heat water heater, to its own furnace, to its own air conditioner and to its own sump pump and so on. So I did put a lot of thought into this before I hired this construction inc company but found out later he was only a general contractor. his 3 trucks and business cards all says their name with construction inc company. this is just a little bit that is going on with my addition and still not finish like I said but he want paid or put a lien on my house. AND THE WORST PART OF ALL THIS my propane regulator-- the thing that is usually on the outside of house then a line going to the propane tank itself is STILL IN MY NEW ADDITION BASEMENT NOT on the outside of my house-----that is dangerous!!!!!! Please help save my new addition/existing house or tell me what to do or talk to whom

1 reply

Aug 30, 2018
I am so sorry for what you've had to go through. I think describing it as a nightmare sounds appropriate. Before going much further, I should mention that as bad as this dispute sounds, there's potential for it to get even worse. Reaching out to a local construction or real estate attorney might be a good idea to stay out in front of the issue before things get out of hand. This is especially true considering the amounts in dispute. If you're unsure as to where to find the right attorney, there are a number of online services that can help, such as: Justia, Avvo, or Lawyers.com. Anyway, regarding whether or not the contractor is able to file a mechanics lien, it's worth noting that the actual filing of a mechanics lien can occur, regardless of whether the lien is actually valid. Recorders offices often have neither the bandwidth nor the authority to investigate each claim that is made for filing, so a bad actor could potentially file an invalid or fraudulent lien. Of course, there are penalties in every state for those that file fraudulent liens, and criminal penalties could even come into play. Thus, stopping a lien claim before it's even made is typically the best defense. I'm a little unsure what you meant when you'd said you turned your contractor in, but there are some steps that will usually help reign in an unreasonable contractor. For one, making a complaint with the constrictor's licensing board can go a long way - if a contractor gets into trouble with their licensing body, they could potential lose their contractor's license. You can make a complaint here: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Further, while it may not be as effective, making a complaint with the Better Business Bureau can help warn others and stain the contractor's business. Finally, threatening legal action based on breach of contract or some other remedy could be effective, especially when done through an attorney. As mentioned at the beginning of this answer, consulting an attorney will be very helpful in deciding how to proceed. They'll be able to review all of the relevant documentation and communications then advise on how to move forward.
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