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In the event that projects do not get started but the contractor has provided plans and specifications, worked with the

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Anonymous contractor
May 26, 2020

A potential client advised she wanted to o an addition to her existing home (in California) but ended up scraping the project once the permits and compliance issues became 'too much'. I am curious what the remedy is in this case if the contractor had already done a significant amount of pre-construction work. Would the contractor be able to bill for the services provided even though the customer stopped the project?

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Anonymous contractor
Jun 9, 2020
Certainly, a GC can bill for services they've provided - even if the owner cancels the project before construction begins. Though, generally, charges should only be made as allowed under the contract. When a project is canceled, it's pretty common for the contractor and owner to negotiate a final settlement on the contract then agree to terminate the deal. If the owner has unilaterally terminated that contract, then they may be liable. Certainly, it's worth reviewing the contract first - but if the agreement didn't include any termination provisions, or if the given termination provisions weren't followed, then a breach of contract or wrongful termination claim could be on the table. So, if the owner refuses to pay for the services you have provided, utilizing a payment demand letter could be good leverage to get paid what you're owed.
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