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How can I lien this house? I am owed 14,000 dollars

CaliforniaChange OrdersConstruction ContractMechanics LienPayment DisputesRecovery OptionsRight to Lien

How can I lien the house,I am a general contractor, naive and good nature, my business partner and I have been tricked in signing an addendum as the investors calls it but when asked if it was a list of things that still needed to be done the answer was yes bu the list included something that was never part of the scope of work, the installation of the floors that someone else already did the job, they insist for us to give them credit so 12,000 dollars. in a way they want a very expensive present,

2 replies

May 19, 2020
Accidentally agreeing to dramatically expand the scope of work for free is a serious situation. However, it may not be a hopeless case. There may be a few different theories under which the addendum is invalid. Or, it may be possible to force the customer to at least pay for the fair value of the work. Ultimately, the exact language of the document will be quite crucial. So, while the above information should be valuable for identifying potential options for going forward, it'd be very wise to consult a California construction attorney before deciding on a course of action. They'll be able to review your documentation and circumstances, then advise on your best options for proceeding. You can reach out to a local attorney here: Construction Attorneys in California.

Was the proper change order process followed?

Generally, adding to the scope of work should be done by change order. So, if the additional work was requested and agreed upon outside of the outlined change order process, then it's possible the new additional work wasn't properly authorized.

Is the agreement valid and enforceable?

What's more, for a contract to be binding, there must generally be an offer, acceptance, and consideration exchanged. And, agreeing to perform work for no payment may lack consideration - and that could render the agreement to perform extra work unenforceable. Though, again, it'd be important to have a California attorney review the document and circumstances. Further, keep in mind that contracts that don't include a price don't automatically result in free goods and services. It's possible to form a valid and binding contract without mentioning the price if the price can otherwise be determined - like by looking to the market value of the price for that type of work.

Are mechanics lien rights available?

If this work has been performed, then filing a mechanics lien might be a possible way to force payment. California mechanics lien claim amounts are limited to the lesser of: (1) the value of the work provided by the lien claimant; or (2) the price agreed to for the work. So, if there was no price set for the work, then the market value for the work could potentially be lienable. Before even opting to file a mechanics lien, though - threatening to file a lien claim with a Notice of Intent to Lien could lead to payment.
May 19, 2020
Thank you for your response, the addendum is written without prices for each line item, the work was done by an unlicensed person, why was it in the list of things to do???was done by an unlicensed personn

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