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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We had a contractor do some work for us. Several days in we noticed the osb was moldy and soft. We started watching more closely and found more shortcuts. Long story short, they had ripped our shingles when attaching the addition, claiming it was like that. We called the roofer that did our roof 2 years ago, he checked it out and found it was only torn in the area of the new construction. He also did a walk around of the new construction and found other things that would result in roof leaks. We asked for estimate to repair then told current contractor when the job was finished he would get the details of the repairs and we will deduct that amount along with materials we had to buy and install (metal straps to attach new addition to garage, door sweeps because on one side of both doors there is over 1 inch gap). We owed $2000 and with deductions came to $540. He said that was too much and he will file a lien if not paid in full in 48 hours. My question is can he do that if he isn’t licensed? And if he does file, can we fight it?

We had a contractor do some work for us. Several days in we noticed the osb was moldy and soft. We started watching more closely and found more shortcuts. Long story short, they had ripped our shingles when attaching the addition, claiming it was like that. We called the roofer that did our roof 2 years ago, he checked it out and found it was only torn in the area of the new construction. He also did a walk around of the new construction and found other things that would result in roof leaks. We asked for estimate to repair then told current contractor when the job was finished he would get the details of the repairs and we will deduct that amount along with materials we had to buy and install (metal straps to attach new addition to garage, door sweeps because on one side of both doors there is over 1 inch gap). We owed $2000 and with deductions came to $540. He said that was too much and he will file a lien if not paid in full in 48 hours. My question is can he do that if he isn’t licensed? And if he does file, can we fight it?

GeorgiaMechanics Lien

Contractor did substandard work, asked to leave. We hired someone to repair the damage he did then told him the amount we would pay which is the bal. due to him, less what we paid to have his work repaired. He thinks he should still be paid in full even though his people tore our new shingles, used rotten, moldy OSB, and didn’t use the right pitch to prevent leaks....leaking even before they were finished.

1 reply

Aug 20, 2018
I'm sorry to hear that. First, it's worth noting that a claimant may be able to actually file their lien, regardless of whether that lien is actually valid and enforceable. Most county recorder offices have neither the authority nor the bandwidth to scrutinize each lien claim filed. Of course, if the lien is invalid or fraudulent, such a lien may be removed from the record and penalties could come into play. But as far as an individual lien filing goes - a lien may likely be filed. Changing gears, a lien claimant may claim a lien for amounts owed and unpaid. When there's a workmanship dispute or complicating factors affecting what's owed, the payment dispute can get tricky. An owner may challenge the amount of a filed lien, but coming to a clear conclusion on that matter could potentially require legal action. At court, an owner may very well be able to show that a claimant's shoddy work created a need for repair work or caused a breach of that contract (and that the claimant is no longer owed full payment). In order to fend off a lien claim before it's even filed, an owner might send a demand letter or other communication asserting their legal rights. Informing a potential claimant that they're in breach of their contract, that a filed lien would be invalid, and that you'll fight the lien by any means necessary will often make a claimant think twice about filing an invalid lien. Further, threats to report a contractor to the state's licensing board and to the Better Business Bureau can also be effective.
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