I did a verbal agreement with a lady who says I broke the verbal agreement by not wanting to do the list “her son wrote”. I am a painter by trade. So she file a breech of contract with the right to cure within 7days. And on the list she has me doing things that we never agreed upon or I didn’t I should say. I asked them to sign a contract after stating the new and extra things that were on the list were going to value more money and they said they wouldn’t sign it. I haven’t even breeched the contract. The son got into my face yelling and screaming while his wife was recording and said ” get your shit and get the f*** out!” Exact words. Now their saying I’m in breech of contract because I quit. When that’s not true. I simple put all paint and tools in my trailer for the day and took my trailer home with me because I did not trust them at this point. What do I do? And is this something I should fight and could win or a waste of time? I don’t have alot of pictures but have some. And I have most of his texts but not all of hers. I have the main ones of hers tho

6 months ago

Above.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

I’m sorry to hear about your situation, that sounds very frustrating. While I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for in terms of the desired outcome, I can provide some information that might be helpful moving forward. However, I’m not able to provide you with any advice on how you should move forward – and in order to receive legal advice, consulting a local attorney or asking a question of the attorneys at Avvo.com would be helpful. With that in mind, let’s look at some potential options here. First, it’s worth noting that when there’s no written contract, it’s hard to prove what was and was not included in the original scope of work. Thus, any battle over the terms of the verbal agreement will be hard to nail down, and it’d probably take a lot of time, effort, and expense for either side to assert and prove that the contract was breached. Granted, when one party instructs the other to take their stuff and leave, that would seem to constitute the termination of the agreement – potentially putting the terminating party in breach. If the party who allegedly terminated the contract is stating that they did not intend to terminate the agreement, then conceivably, work could be continued. If one party demands the other leave the project site, it would seem hard to argue that the party leaving the job, as requested, was breaching the agreement. All in all – where the working relationship is unsalvageable, and when the amounts in dispute aren’t that serious, filing a breach of contract claim might not be worth the expense. At the same time, where considerable amounts are owed and where a claimant feels they have a strong case – they could decide it’s in their best interest. There’s no real black or white answer. When payment is owed for construction work that’s been performed, one of the strongest tools available will typically be a mechanics lien. A mechanics lien, unlike a breach of contract claim, does not require legal action. Rather, a lien is filed in the property record and will typically cost considerably less than litigating a dispute (though, a lien claim could spur a lawsuit itself). What’s more, the mere threat of filing a mechanics lien is often enough to compel payment – which we discuss in this article: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? While a lien claim is cheaper and often less risky than a lawsuit, the threat of a lien involves even less cost and less risk. Naturally, though, any threat to an owner’s property title could result in a dispute. But again -whether or not it’s worth fighting a situation varies case by case.

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