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Protect against unethical business owner.

Virginia

Hello Sir, This is to request your help to get guidance about a product quality issue regarding the quartzite (Level 5 granite) countertops that I bought for our kitchen. I'm based in Virginia. Below are some of the details in brief:- 1. We selected two slabs and the store informed at time of fabrication that one has been sold to another customer so we needed to pick another one from the same lot. The store never informed us of any quite visible imperfections in the granite before fabrication. The countertop is about 56 sq ft and consists of 4 different pieces. We had paid 50% in advance as deposit. 2. The countertops were installed on 4/5/2021 and I immediately noticed 4 very large spots in a highly visible prominent area, where the stone had been repaired. All this is mostly on the first piece that goes over the dishwasher and the sink. 3. The damage to the stone had been filled with some black resin/epoxy and it is rough to the touch and has small cracks and no shine to it like granite is expected to have. This shows it is not part of the natural stone but a man made repair. 4. The business owner insists that it is part of the stone and this is how it is. He has refused requests to replace the piece and insisting on getting the balance payment. He says, "Either accept it as it is and make full payment or he will see me in the court". 5. He is not willing to discuss the defects and insists that natural stones are expected to have variations / imperfections. This, however, is not a natural imperfection but a man made repair which no reasonable customer would accept when they are making a huge investment to have a beautiful kitchen. 6. I received a certified letter today (4/12/2021) from him stating he is going to file a lien if i do not pay. Can you please help me regarding how to protect myself from such a lien and get the business owner to replace the defective piece and pay him the balance. Thanks for your help. K Singh

1 reply

Apr 14, 2021
If the contractor files a lien, he must follow specific rules to perfect that lien. If he does that, either you sue to vacate the lien or he sues to foreclose the lien. If he doesn't perfect the lien, he must sue to collect. If you need to sell the house before this is resolved, you can bond off the lien until the issue is resolved. You may want aa lawyer to guide you through this, particularly if you want to remove and replace the faulty materials and work so that you can issue a demand that will become evidence that you provided an opportunity to cure. You also, of course, need a lawyer if one of you takes it to court to resolve. If you want to be proactive and cannot wait for this to play out, you could sue the contractor for return of the half you paid, and if the cost of the granite is relatively small, you can retain counsel to teach you how to bring that case yourself in General District Court as a small claim.
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