Can I still collect for work completed?

1 week ago

Hi,
My girlfriend of 3 years unexpectedly broke up with me. She was a customer 10 months prior. I remodeled her home to sell. I never invoiced because a verbal agreement was made to purchase a vehicle. Since breaking up she has taken the vehicle . Can I still collect in the work($31,939.70) that was done to the home??

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

When construction-related work is performed, but not paid for, mechanics lien rights will generally arise. However, Texas mechanics liens, like other states, have strict timing requirements. Generally, mechanics liens on residential property must be filed by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the month during which the claimant last furnished labor or materials to the project. So, if several months have passed after the completion of the work, there’s a strong chance that the deadline to file a mechanics lien has passed.

Further, when payment wasn’t agreed upon at the time of the work or expected at all – there’s probably an open question as to whether lien rights would be available at all. Though, unless the project was a homestead, or unless the work done was that of an architect or an engineer, a written contract for the work isn’t specifically required.

Other options for recovery

Of course, keep in mind that there are always options outside of the mechanics lien process that are available for recovery. We’ve actually written about some of those options here: Can’t File a Lien? Here Are Some Other Options For Recovery. To cite a few options from that article – demand letters are often effective to compel payment. Or, pursuing legal claims – such as unjust enrichment – might be an option, too.

I hope this was helpful! For more background on Texas mechanics lien law: Texas Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs.

 

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