View Full Version : Contract Law Help Needed...
May-24th-2004, 07:41 PM
I'll make a quick story short.
As a lot of you know I run a paint contracting company in the summer time and this put me through school. Well in my years running it I have never had anyone refuse to pay for work until now.
Her reasoning is as follows. We did the work and she agrees, however she thinks we inflated the price because I subcontracted the work out for less then half. Basically the crew that did got less then half the value of the job.
Now she is pissed and refuses to pay. She signed a very specific contract which in fact makes it so that she will have to pay my legal fees. I just want to know how hard or easy it is to actually get the money and if I will actually have a case in court. Any contract experts/lawyers?
Ancalagon the Black
May-24th-2004, 07:57 PM
Try giving this forum a shot: http://forum.freeadvice.com/
May-24th-2004, 07:58 PM
Thanks ATB. Any help is appreciated
May-24th-2004, 08:16 PM
You have an open-and-shut case. There's no way she wins if you take her to court. There was an offer and acceptance of that offer... and then the work was performed (as desired?). Just because she thought she got screwed with the price, doesn't mean she doesn't owe the full amount.
If she won't pay, though, you WILL have to take her to court. Even then she could refuse to pay the judgement (which would ruin her credit, or there would be a sheriff's sale of some of her belongings to pay the judgement).
EDIT: Obviously it would save you a lot of time an energy (as well as stress) to settle the matter outside of court. Show her the contract, and basically tell her that it is impossible for her to win... moreover, she will not only have to pay the cost of the job, but court fees that could actually exceed the job itself. Unless she's incredible stubborn (or stupid), she'll simply pay you the money,
May-24th-2004, 10:21 PM
As soon as the parties entered into the contract, the parties were no longer in control, the contract was.
If you performed the work as per contract specifications you should get paid. A mechanics lien against the property and a trip to small claims court should do it.
Contrary to the customerís belief, it is not against the law to make a profit.
They also may not understand that the actual painting of the house is only a portion of the total work required to complete the project. The work also includes estimating, project management, quality control, warrantee, equipment cost of ownership, etc..
Then thereís the cost of liability insurance, which by itself is a huge expense, and lets not forget the cost of money or the taxman.
These are only a few examples of expenses your customer may not be aware of which could explain why they are upset after discovering what you paid your sub.
30% - 35% after expenses is very common. Keep in mind that there is so much exposure in the home repair and remodeling business that many companies look to make 50% - 60% otherwise taking the risk is not worthwhile.
The Wicked Wop
May-25th-2004, 10:35 AM
The two posts above pretty much hit it on the head. Your obligation under the contract was to provide a satisfactory service, her's is to pay. If price is the issue, then she should have gone out and got more estimates, which is not your pricing.....anything you do within the confines of accomplishing the project are none of her concerns. Some item can't be subcontracted out of.....such as highly skilled work (very specialized good or service)....but it doesn't sound like this would apply. The only other thing is if the contract specifically stated that subcontractors can't be used....again doesn't sound like it applies.
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