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Contractor intent to lien, refusing to perform work that I signed for, attempting to to perform work for entire claim.

MinnesotaConstruction ContractRight to Lien

I signed a contract to have my roof replaced by a contractor. 2 weeks later, insurance added the siding to the claim. I told the contractor that I will replace the siding. He got angry and said that he was entitled to the entire claim. I have signed nothing regarding the siding. There is fine print on the back of the contract saying that if I cancel then I will owe the contractor 25% of the claim, which was about $8,000 at the time for the roof. I am still awarding him the roof job but he is refusing to do it unless he gets the siding as well. So, is sent an intent to file lien for 25% of the entire $22,000 claim, about $5700. Do I actually owe him this?

1 reply

Jul 30, 2018
Long story short, it is unlikely that the contractor has any specific right to demand the entire job. However, examining all documents or agreements and determining whether there exists any contractual right to do so is beyond the scope of what we can take a look at here.

Separate from whether the contractor is actually entitled to do all the work pursuant to the claim is the question of whether the contractor haas filed a valid lien. Generally, in Minnesota, the amount of a valid lien claim is determined by the following:

"(a) If the contribution is made under a contract with the owner and for an agreed price, the lien as against the owner shall be for the sum agreed upon.

(b) In all other cases, it shall be for the reasonable value of the work done, and of the skill, material, and machinery furnished."

Note, however, that in order for a lien to exist there must be some contribution to the improvement of real estate (by furnishing labor or material). Generally, to the extent a lien is claimed for work that has not been performed (nor even contracted for) the lien would not be enforceable.
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