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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>in colorado, can a client re-negotiate their signed contract and withhold full payment even though scope is completed and compliant with contract agreement?

in colorado, can a client re-negotiate their signed contract and withhold full payment even though scope is completed and compliant with contract agreement?

ColoradoMechanics LienRight to Lien

project was held up due to client changing their minds and requesting the project be city permitted even though original contract did NOT contemplate one or require one. the delays in time, materials and labor when presented to them where not paid, and final payment was adjusted by client without my consent as owner. I want to place a lien on their property until paid in full- may I proceed with lien?

1 reply

Dec 5, 2018
That's a good question. First, I should mention I won't be able to advise you on how to proceed - but I can provide some information that should be helpful for you when making your own determinations. Anyway, when serious changes have been made to a contract, there's always a chance that the changes are so material that they result in the breach or abandonment of the original contract and form a new agreement. Thus, when a deal has been warped through repeated owner requests and those changes cost time and money, a contractor could be entitled to an amount greater than what was contracted for. Of course, recovery under such a theory can get complicated, and it would be wise to consult a local construction attorney about the issue if that's a potential route to be taken. Regarding lien rights... Mechanics lien rights are generally available to those who have provide labor and/or materials to a construction project and go unpaid for that work. Thus, if an owner has agreed to pay a certain amount and the work is performed, that owner's refusal to pay for the full amount of work could certainly give rise to valid lien rights. It's worth noting, though, that another tool - a Notice of Intent to Lien - could help recover payments without the need for actually filing a lien. Sending a Notice of Intent to Lien is actually a requirement in Colorado before a claimant can file a mechanics lien, too. Since a Colorado claimant must send Notice of Intent to Lien prior to filing a lien claim, it's generally a good idea to send than notice a little early and to try and leverage the notice into payment. At the end of the day, property owners want to deal with liens a lot less than lien claimants do. If a Notice of Intent to Lien doesn't compel payment, though, filing a mechanics lien may become necessary - and you can learn more about the deadline, amount, and notice requirements relating to Colorado liens here: Colorado Lien & Notice FAQs.
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