Firing our contractor

1 week ago

We hired a contractor to help remodel our home in Georgia. They have breach our contract in multiple ways and the biggest was he never even pulled permits for the work. He also never provided us engineer drawings, is 2 months over our due date, never gave us a schedule one which was in the contract and did absolutely terrible work. We’ve paid him 23k our of the 68k which means there’s still 45k leftover. We brought in another contractor to quote what it would cost to fix everything our original contract messed up and he’s going to cost the remaining 45k to do so. I don’t want him to put a lien on our home when we’ve been given awful/terrible work that was never even permitted and it’s going to cost us the remaining amount owed to him to fix his work. We really want to understand what leg we have to stand on when firing him. What do we do?

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Owner
Project Type: Residential
Attorney Jon A. Gottlieb, P.C.
10 reviews

This is not an uncommon problem. Generally speaking, under Georgia law a contractor has the right to file a lien for unpaid work. However, the contractor still is required to prove the claim and there are preconditions to the contractor’s successful prosecution of the lien. For example, for residential projects in Georgia an unlicensed contractor cannot file a lien. Among other things, the contractor will have to prove compliance with your contract, compliance with the law and performance of the work. It sounds as if you may have some viable defenses, but nonetheless if the conrtractor files a lien you will expend some time, energy and money defending the lien.  

Attorney and Owner The Storrs Law Firm
45 reviews

If you properly terminate the contractor, which you would be entitled to do if he breached the contract, then you would legally be entitled to complete the work with another contractor. From the facts you have provided, your first contractor would not have a valid lien claim because he failed to substantially complete the work, and after completing the work, you would have no contract balance owing to him. Yes, he may still file a lien, and you can contest it. And yes, he may claim you owe monies, but it does appear that you have valid defenses to the contractor’s claim.

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1 found this helpful
Attorney Stone & Bellus, P.C.

You need to be sure that you terminate the contract according to the terms of the contract. You also need to keep very good records of what you spent to complete the work and why. Take lots of pictures and get competitive bids for the work. You cannot keep him from filing a lien, but you can contest the lien once it is filed. This is a pretty complicated process. If you decide to hire a lawyer, give me a call. Josh Stone 770-390-9950. My firm is Stone & Bellus, P.C.

Thanks,

Josh

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