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Non payment once job was completed

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I remodeled a bathroom for what I thought was a nice older couple once job was completed and homeowners were satisfied with the work completed I was given a bad check then went back to property to get a new check once home owner gave it to me he canceled it as I pulled out of drive was and said there was a leak so I came back the next morning to address the situation and the home owner had a trip scheduled for the next day and said they would not be back for a week so I took down anything holding water or possible places the problem could be caused from to dry so once back from the trip I can come back and fix the issue and get paid so I got $1,000 of a $3,500 balance for reassurance that I was not getting screwed over and that I could come back fix any problems with no charge for anything but 2 day before homeowners were scheduled to return I was sent an email asking me to not come back and my services are no longer needed so I’m trying to find out what I can do to get paid the $2,500 balance owed for the work I completed

1 reply

Jan 7, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about that - everyone deserves to be paid what they've earned. When work has been performed but unpaid, there are a number of different options available - but a mechanics lien is likely the most powerful tool in a contractor's arsenal. Of course, mechanics liens are typically the nuclear option, and often, they're reserved for when a dispute gets really ugly. Prior to resorting to a lien claim, often, a claimant can find success by merely threatening that lien with something like a Notice of Intent to Lien. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts as a warning - it states that if payment remains owed and unpaid, the claimant will be forced to recover with a mechanics lien. Considering how drastically a lien remedy can affect a property owner, often, recovery takes place without the need for any further legal action. Another option could be to threaten lawsuit - and threatening specific legal action (such as breach of contract, unjust enrichment, or some other theory) via an attorney's demand letter will often help to compel payment (much in the same way that a Notice of Intent to Lien can help. Finally, if threats don't work, filing an Ohio mechanics lien or taking the issue to small claims court might be effective. For more information on Ohio mechanics liens, these resources should help: How to File an Ohio Mechanics Lien and Ohio Lien & Notice FAQs. For more on Ohio small claims court, here's a good resource: Ohio Small Claims Court Guide. As a final note - keep in mind that in order to file a mechanics lien, specific notice and deadline requirements must be met - and those are made clear by the FAQs above.
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