We're a prime contractor in Washington and understand that Model Disclosures have to be sent before a project is started. However, we deal with a lot of same day services across the state and generally don't know about the job until someone calls us with an emergency. If we don't know about the project until the day of, how can we make sure we're meeting this requirement?...Read More
Its alarming to our clients when they receive the preliminary notice (or even the intent to lien) after they signed their contract so we were wondering if it was possible to include it in our master contract as part of the process when they sign. ...Read More
Thus far, we have only sent pre-lien notices to the taxpayer of each property. However, my understanding from reading another WA state construction lawyer blog is that we should be sending the notice to both the property owner and the prime contractor. Additionally, upon receipt of full payment, we're meant to send a lien release to both parties. Is this the case?...Read More
We are an electrical subcontractor and have contracted with a GC on a tenant improvement job. We will be sending a preliminary notice to the owner of the property but do we need to send a copy to the GC as well? Thank you!...Read More
I have a finished project. Final Inspection is done. Everything is complete. The homeowner is using there pole building. In our contract it states the scope of work.
We did make mistakes, such as homeowner disclosure was signed when we started, the concrete was already poured. So it was about 4 days late. It was not intentional. It should have been done electronically as soon as we realized it wasn't done we had him do it physically. our attorney now says its not valid because of this. he isn't a construction attorney.
So fast forward to the end, he is complaining about his apron concrete and lean-to concrete not on his contract. We didn't agree to these things. Finally I say fine. we prep for the lean to concrete and he is complaining more about gravel that his lean to wasn't wide enough where the concrete ended. It's free.
So fast forward they are finished minus the free concrete. the inspector comes and finds that the engineering changed and they sent the one with standard wall girts. they used to have both on the engineering and now to make more money only send one.
he said send it to me ill pop back over and sign it off , he also needed me to turn the site analysis around it had downloaded to his map backwards, covid has the new system for us still on a learning curve at that point. everything was through a new pdf system none of us had used. so the homeowner comes home and immediatly sends a certified letter saying it failed inspection because of faulty workmanship. That we don't know what we are doing and that we did a horrible job etc etc.
Thats not the case.
He blocks the jobsite says we cannot give him his free concrete.
I say fine you still have to pay.
or we will file
he has his attorney call us.
he writes a letter to our bond company, even though it's not filed they flag us have us cancelled and we cant get a bond minus one we paid an extreme amount of money for.
the attorney says in the letter the building must be tore down. that we ripped the guy off on and on.
so finally the inspector comes back after telling him he needed to no matter what and signs it off telling him there is nothing wrong at all.
a couple more days go by and lni calls and fines us for the concrete guy not being licensed. he had a good bond insurance his lni taxes paid to date but his state license somohow expired and he didn't even realize it. he has a company do all his licensing taxes etc. he's been in business over 30 years, when i look at the lni site i saw good bond good license good lni account i didnt even see the expired part on the top right .
and for not have a home owner disclosure, because it was signed after the start date it doesn't count.
So we paid them becuase we were up for renewal and the lady said you can't renew unless you pay.
We hired an attorney paid a big retainer and now we are sitting here and today the attorney sends me a letter saying tough luck pretty much he can sue you for consumer protection laws because lni fined you.
So now even thought it's finished nothing needs fixed, we did nothing wrong we are just out of luck?
Is this really correct?
this is my attorneys letter to us or his assistants whatever
Per my phone call on November 30, 2020, I have done some research regarding the claims in letter and the potential impact it can have on your claims against Messrs. . After discussing the matter with we think it is best that you review this research and recommendations prior to determining what actions you would like us to take.
RCW 18.27 controls the requirements for registration of contractors. RCW 18.27.350 provides, that an "infraction" under the chapter constitutes a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"). It is an infraction to subcontract with an unregistered contractor. RCW 18.27.200. From our conversation, it is my understanding that the subcontractor utilized to lay the cement for the project was not registered at the time of working. L & I issued a fine, and it was paid. This is likely an infraction under the statute and a violation of the CPA.
I will note, that one court has issued a ruling that might be beneficial under the facts of your case. In Taylor v. Calene, the court stated that to constitute a per se violation of the CPA through 18.27.350, there must be an infraction proceeding before a court. 2015 WL 410348, *3 (2015). Since L & I only fined you and there was no hearing, there is a good-faith argument that there is no CPA violation. This is the only case that has provided this ruling, so there is the potential that the judge we would eventually be in front of will not follow this ruling.
The CPA allows a consumer to recover attorney fees if they are victorious on their claims. RCW 19.86.080; RCW 19.86.090. From our viewpoint, the opposing party does not have very many damages, if any. They received the building they purchased. However, the court can still order that you pay their attorney fees if your suit is unsuccessful. This is even under circumstances where they do not require you to pay damages for the pole building to the opposing party.
You have exposure and your case is not perfect. Messrs. will have a difficult time pleading that they have been injured in any way. But, if their goal is to make this as time consuming, costly, and difficult as possible, they have a lot of avenues to accomplish that goal.
There are essentially two ways forward: (1) despite the law I cited above, you move forward with a lawsuit, taking the risk of attorney fees and costs associated with litigation; or (2) we can draft a more reasonable settlement letter. Depending on your risk tolerance, both are adequate options and could lead to a resolution of this case. Please consider these options and let me or know which option you would like to pursue. ...Read More
We were hired as an HVAC subcontractor on 7/20/20. We did not file a pre-lien. We have not been paid our final payment. The job finished on 10/20/20. I thought we had 90 days after the job to file the lien. I called level set and was told I needed to file a pre-lien 60 days after the start, so by 9/20/20. Is there anything I can do? I am worried if I file the lien it will get dismissed. ...Read More
My company sent a "Notice to Owner" via certified return receipt for a project in Washington state. The postman delivered the letter without requiring them to sign. The GC on this project has now declared bankruptcy so my employer is wanting to lien. Is no signature okay from the notice or should I send it again to try to get a signature. ...Read More
Does a subcontractor on a non owner occupied remodel that contracted for $10,000 materials and labor directly with the prime contractor have to provide the model disclosure to the owner? If not; it appears this subcontractor does not have to provide ANY notice, correct?...Read More
I understand that Washington requires contractors provide a model disclosure statement to the owner at the start of work, and I may lose lien rights if I don't provide it. However, someone told me that not sending it is worse than that even, and that I'll be in violation with the DLI for not sending the Model Disclosure Statement. Is that true? What are the consequences of that?...Read More
For a material supplier, how do I know who I need to send a preliminary lien notice to? When my customer is the Subcontractor, I know I need to send one to the general contractor and the property owner. What if the general contractor is also the owner? Do I need to send one to the property owner if my customer is the general? Do I need to send one at all if my customer is the general and also owns the property?...Read More