How can I better protect myself from an unreasonable contractor
I’m an owner of a new two-unit property in Waterbury, CT. Recently I got into a financial dispute with a contractor, who I don’t know if he has a professional license or an LLC. I was recommended by someone and thought he would be the right person so I gave him a try.
When I first met him, I asked him to give me a contract. He said yes but I never saw one. Everything we did was verbal which I really didn’t like. He said that he would took care of everything for me, from fixing up the places to leasing to tenants because I currently have an empty unit in my duplex. After one month of chasing after him with calls and asking whether he had found the right tenants, he would say yes or promised that soon it would be done. Well, it never got done. He claimed he had the phone problems, apparently not just once. I was frustrated and believed that he wasn’t a professional property manager/contractor because whatever documents I requested regarding his company or the new tenants I just never received them.
I finally took the matter in control. I went to Waterbury and changed the lock myself because he had my keys. Inside the house, nothing was done except one-coat of painting on the wall. Everything was unfinished. Then the next day I got a call from him saying that he had the new tenants moving in (out of the blue)! I texted him and said I NEVER agreed to let anyone moving in until I saw the paperwork (employment, ID, etc), security deposit, and first month of rent. He basically ignored what I told him about everything! He now said that he wanted me to pay for ALL the work he did and the hotel for his tenants; otherwise, he would put a lien on my property!? We don’t have a contractual agreement for the work. He doesn’t have the Power of Attorney agreement to act on my behalf as a landlord. Regarding the leasing, he didn’t have my approval and I never gave the residential lease to his tenant nor collect a dime from his tenants. Can he still file the lien? What should I do now? Thank you.