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we need to talk to someone about a homeowner that refuses to pay us

CaliforniaLien DeadlinesMechanics LienPayment DisputesPreliminary NoticeRecovery Options

I filed a 20 day notice on july 13 june 25 was the last day we "worked" out there on the property. But we are a glass co. and we order material then it takes months to get, then we go install it. The Homeowner complained so we went back out there (june 25) and then he thought if he just complains enough he doesnt have to pay and now he wants all new upgrades on siding which we are not even a contractor for. Please talk to my boss Gale at 805-471-7407 for more details. Do we file a lien, can we? or just sue him in small claims?

1 reply

Jul 20, 2018
It's always frustrating and stressful when you run into a situation in which you aren't getting paid what you've earned. I've edited your question to remove your phone number from a public post, and have provided some information here that may help.

In California, the preliminary "20-day" notice should be provided 20 days from the first day labor or material was provided as it is only effective for the period of time beginning 20 days prior to the date on which the notice was sent. However, for a party that contracted directly with the property owner, preliminary notice is only required if there was a construction lender funding the project.

Absent the preliminary notice requirements, the deadline to file a lien is 90 days from the completion of the project as a whole (or for a party contracting directly with the owner, 60 days from the date the owner files a notice of completion/cessation if one is filed).

Other than lien remedies, yes filing suit in small claims court is an option. Note that the damages limit for small claims court in California is $10,000 for individual claimants and $5,000 for companies. Suit could also be filed for breach of contract in "regular" court.
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