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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I was 2/3rd the way through the job & the owner had an issue with several corrections that the city wanted them to change before proceeding. So, they told us we will call you and let you know when we are complete & ready to move forward. I mentioned getting paid up to date for the work performed & he said you didn't finish the last thing on the list of things to be completed, so i don't have to pay you until you guys finish that one particular item when we start back up. i contact them every week, they update me, but still not there yet. They owe 24K per the the final payment. The last thing that has to be done is only 3-4 k, but he wants to hold the remainder of the 24K per the payment schedule. Don't we have the right to get paid to date for what we've done minus the last 4K worth of work that hasn't ben done due to their corrections not being compl

I was 2/3rd the way through the job & the owner had an issue with several corrections that the city wanted them to change before proceeding. So, they told us we will call you and let you know when we are complete & ready to move forward. I mentioned getting paid up to date for the work performed & he said you didn't finish the last thing on the list of things to be completed, so i don't have to pay you until you guys finish that one particular item when we start back up. i contact them every week, they update me, but still not there yet. They owe 24K per the the final payment. The last thing that has to be done is only 3-4 k, but he wants to hold the remainder of the 24K per the payment schedule. Don't we have the right to get paid to date for what we've done minus the last 4K worth of work that hasn't ben done due to their corrections not being compl

CaliforniaPayment DisputesRecovery Options

see question above ... includes basic situation

1 reply

Feb 8, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about that. Going unpaid is incredibly frustrating. You'd mentioned that the contract sets out a payment schedule. If that is the case, and the contract states that no payment is owed until all work is performed, it might be hard to compel an owner to make payment prior to project completion. California is home to prompt payment laws which mandate payments be made a certain pace throughout the project. However, when two parties set out a specific payment schedule for a job, that payment schedule will apply instead of the statutory timeframes. You can learn more about the California prompt payment laws here: California Prompt Payment Rules. Of course, regardless of what payment schedule might apply, a contractor might be able to compel payment by threatening to utilize tools available to compel payment - such as a Notice of Intent to Lien, or a threat to make a legal claim. Nobody likes dealing with mechanics liens or legal claims, so the threat of lien or litigation is often helpful in compelling payment. However, before deciding to escalate a dispute, it might be worthwhile to try and talk out the issue - especially where more work is expected on the project, and especially when payments are actually being made as set-out under the agreement for work. Once a threat of lien or suit is made, it can be hard to continue a working relationship with a property owner - so the decision on how to proceed is very much a business decision.
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