What is our recourse?

2 weeks ago

My husband did a pressure washing and gutters job for someone in the private sector and she I refusing to pay on the basis they left leaves in the yard and took down a no anchored satellite dish. What is our recourse.

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

Those who provide cleaning or maintenance work – work that doesn’t, itself, permanently improve the project property – they generally won’t be entitled to mechanics lien rights. Though, there may be some other options available to recover payment.

First, the easiest way to come to an agreement and to resolve the issue will be to talk it out with the property owner. While the relationship may be strained to some degree, patching that partnership will usually be easier and cheaper than pursuing other recovery options. Granted, that won’t always be possible.

Alternatively, if there’s a contract for the work, failure to make payment could give rise to an action like breach of contract. Further, even when there isn’t a contract, pursuing recovery under a theory like unjust enrichment might be an option. While it may not be worthwhile to pursue official, formal, legal action, pursuing a debt in Georgia small claims court may be an option (for disputes under $15,000).

Of course, keep in mind that if any of the expected work wasn’t actually performed, or if there was property damage, then that might cut into whatever is owed for the work which was performed.

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