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Homeowner refusing to pay for work completed - wants to set new terms before paying even with signed agreement at start.

LouisianaChange OrdersConstruction ContractNotice of Intent to LienNotice of Termination

HomeWise Builders is handling a remodeling job for the Willis Property owners. The Willis Property is now unwilling to pay milestone payments per the signed agreement stating that they want more things done and wanting documentation showing where monies have been applied, etc. They are contesting change orders that were requested by them and are not willing to pay pricing given for work completed. We have subcontractors that are not able to be paid due to their unwillingness to pay invoice(s) released. Notified early this week that they are making amendments to the original contract in order to pay. Need assistance in figuring out next steps - can we stop work moving forward and push that they need to pay for work completed?

2 replies

Mar 22, 2021

Your next steps will depend upon the terms of your contract currently in place and the specific circumstances of the job (for example, the contested change orders). Your best bet is to consult with an attorney who can review the contract and the facts at issue and advise you on how to proceed.

If you would like to setup a consultation, please let us know.  

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Mar 22, 2021

 Generally, a contractor can stop work when the Owner refuses
to pay for requested change orders. The devil is in the details though. I would
need to know and understand the contract, status of the job, change orders, and
initial scope in detail to properly advise whether the owner is wrong in
failing to approve change orders and how you should proceed. Your contract
probably has notice provision regarding disputes over change orders that should
be followed. 

I am concerned about the request for documentation showing
where funds on the job have been spent. Louisiana has civil and criminal
contractor theft statutes that require any contractor that subs out any portion
of the work to pay subs first. If all subs have been paid/resolved and you have
not taken any profit off the job, you are likely in good shape… but if you have
taken funds as profit off the job and subs remain unpaid/unresolved, then you
may have a serious problem. You should be able to demonstrate that all funds
you have received have been applied to resolve claims from subs. If you cannot
show this, please contact an attorney immediately. 504-323-5885.

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