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contractor shut off boiler

New YorkConstruction ContractLawsuitPayment Disputes

I am a senior citizen and have a grant from my USDA mortgage holder to get some capital improvements in my home. The heating contractor was aware of this before the work was done to replace to rusted out baseboard heaters in my basement. At the time of work completion; namely 6pm on a Friday night, the contractor's helper turned on me and demanded full payment of nearly $500.00 for the work. I reminded hm that this was a grant project and that it wasnt me paying the bill. He went out in the driveway to his van and with his megaphone mouth, and in open earshot of the neighbors, began a conversation with his boss about this matter. The boss told the guy to either collect now or turn off my boiler. So the guy came back in and turned off my boiler. Not being stupid, I know full well what was done to this lone senior woman was not only horrendously abusive but totally illegal, and that payment terms are at least 10-30 days, not 10 seconds after the job is done 6 pm on a Friday night. Obviously I had no way of contacting my agent for a check at that time. This contractor needs to be criminally charged, fined, and forced to do a big chunk of community service so that he would NEVER dream of doing this to anyone ever again. Whom do I contact to get his ball rolling?? My agent brought the check on Monday morning and expressed how appalled she was at this treatment. I havent yet called him to come turn on the boiler and collect his check, but I will. Please dont suggest the attorney general. They have zero legal authority here and dont even rate a broom closet for an office in the state building in Syracuse. They are in some dark corner somewhere down the blvd. and are the equivalent of a bunch of girl scouts selling cookies. I am serious about the guy getting punished and getting it big time!!!! This happened in Marcellus NY

1 reply

Sep 18, 2017
I'm sorry to hear about that situation - while you dismiss the attorney general, it's worth it to bring the complaint to the office's attention (whether or not anything gets done for your particular situation).

Other than the attorney general, though, there are other steps you could take that may have a more immediate impact. For example, contractors in New York that perform work on residential projects are required to have a NY Home Improvement Contractor's License. A complaint to the licensing board / dept. of consumer affairs may exert some pressure since an issue with his license would have substantial effects on his ability to lawfully conduct business.

Additionally, depending on the extent to which you were harmed by the action, you may institute a civil lawsuit against the contractor. It may be worth talking to an attorney in your area (information about pro bono legal services can be found here: to examine any cause of action, if any, you may have.
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