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How long after a contractor in Florida doesn’t communicate or show up can you consider they abandoned the project?

Florida

The contractor is refusing to complete the job claiming they are due a payment. However, the payment is for work that has not been completed yet.

1 reply

Apr 8, 2021

There is a procedure you may be able to follow in 489.126, Florida Statutes.

3)(a) A contractor who receives money for repair, restoration, addition, improvement, or construction of residential real property in excess of the value of the work performed may not fail or refuse to perform any work for any 90-day period or for any period that is mutually agreed upon and specified in the contract.

(b) It is prima facie evidence that a contractor received money for the repair, restoration, addition, improvement, or construction of residential real property and that the amount received exceeds the value of the work performed by the contractor when:

1. The contractor failed to perform any of the work for which he or she contracted during any 90-day period or any period that is mutually agreed upon and specified in the contract;

2. The failure to perform any such work during the 90-day period or such period that is mutually agreed upon and specified in the contract was not related to the owner’s termination of the contract or a material breach of the contract by the owner; and

3. The contractor failed to perform for the 90-day period or such period that is mutually agreed upon and specified in the contract without just cause or terminated the contract without proper notification to the owner.

a. Proper notification of termination for purposes of this subparagraph must be made by the contractor in the form of a letter that includes the reason for termination of the contract or the reason for failure to perform sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, mailed to the address of the owner listed in the contracting agreement. If no written agreement exists, the letter must be mailed to the address where the work was to be performed or the address listed on the permit, if applicable.

b. If a contractor fails to comply with paragraph (a), written demand must be made to the contractor in the form of a letter that includes a demand to perform work, or refund the money received in excess of the value of the work performed, sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, mailed to the address listed in the contracting agreement. If there is no address for the contractor listed in the contracting agreement, or no agreement exists, the letter must be mailed to the address listed with the department for licensing purposes or the local construction industry licensing board, if applicable.

c. It may be inferred that a contractor does not have just cause if the contractor fails to perform work, or refund the money received in excess of the value of the work performed, within 30 days after receiving a written demand to perform the work, or refund the money received in excess of the value of the work performed, from the person who made the payment. 

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