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David Thien Tran

David Tran’s Answers

108 total

  • Kitchen remodel. Cabinets were not installed right. Island looks twisted, pantry is off by half of an inch. Do I have a case?

    I can provide pictures is needed. Cabinets company plays like everything is done right.

    David’s Answer

    There is a big difference between poor workmanship resulting in an unattractive unsightly construction project versus a project that is considered 'construction defect'. A job done poorly that meets the minimum standard of functionality, while ugly, does not fall below the standard of care of functionality and is not deemed a defect. Whereas, a job done poorly that falls below the acceptable standard of care AND results in physical damages or injures the property is deemed a construction defect.

    If not a construction defect, then you may not have a claim against the the general liability insurance policy (if the contractor has one).

    If the contractor does not have general liability insurance, then you may be stuck trying to go after someone with little or no assets.

    You may want to start by seeing if the contractor used an approved Home Improvement Contract pursuant to Bus & Prof code.

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  • Offered to pay my contractor and he refused my money and filed a mechanics lien

    My contractor and I were a mere couple of hundred dollars off in our payment talks. He then came back and demanded I not discuss him in social media, remove my CSLB complaint, guarantee of satisfaction, and not go after his bond. He told CSLB th...

    David’s Answer

    There are a myriad of ways that the contractor can invalidate his mech lien,including the failure to complete scope of work, failure to file prelim, failure to provide proper notice.

    Because the mech lien remedy has profound impact, the application process is strictly enforced, meaning that there is little leeway if the contractor makes a mistake.

    The key to find where the contractor has made mistake.

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  • Is it a breach of contract, or attempt to settle, when repair contractor says he'll send $ for remaining work?

    signed contract for repair. I question their poor work. stated he had enough of my questions. would send me a check for what he thought it would take to finish repair. And, of course, his superior now says he will take over project.

    David’s Answer

    When you say, 'his superior, do you mean the general contractor of the project? You have. Contract for a finished project , if the subs contractor walks off of the job, then the general is on the hook to complete it without imposing you with additional costs.

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  • Contractor is demanding final payment for sub-par and incomplete work. He is threatening a mechanics lien. What should I do?

    We did an addition. The work is sub-par. The contractor hired unlicensed subcontractors and paid them without withholding taxes. He also did not have them covered under his work comp policy and got defensive when I questioned him. I owe less t...

    David’s Answer

    The previous answers are accurate.
    At first blush, employees without workers comp leads me to think of possible disgorgement. However, if contractor has workers comp, but under reports employees, disgorgement is much harder to achieve.

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  • Does a contractor have to do the work up to code, or is just doing the work asked sufficiently legal?

    I hired a licensed contractor to do significant plumbing work in my residential building. He came in and told me what needed to be done, then performed the work. I paid him. Shortly thereafter, the city inspector reviewed the site to issue a pe...

    David’s Answer

    You didn't get what you paid for. You contracted for professional plumbing services and what you got did not meet the minimum standard for the work performed.

    I would make a claim against the plumbing contractor's license bond. Check out CSLB's website on how to make a claim.

    The bond not be enough to over the whole cost of repair, but it will get the contractor in enough trouble with CSLB and his bond company that he will want to resolve the problem.

    Additionally, you have a breach of contract claim against the plumber also. That may take a lot more time and money to pursue, but depending on whether the contractor has insurance or not, it would be wise to consider it.

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  • We hired Home Depot to remodel and install our upstairs bath and it is now leaking due to faulty workmanship.

    Bathroom was installed in November of 2011. Upon finding leak, HD sent installer out who knocked a whole in the garage to determine where leak was coming from. There you can see where Jexpo Construction did not properly install shower pan as it ...

    David’s Answer

    You have a breach of contract against HD and it's subcontractor ( unless you contracted directed with the subcontractor). If the subcontractor is insured, you canals a claim for 'resultant damage'. That won't pay for everything, but it should play for damage arising from contractor's negligent work.

    The important question is when did you learn of or reasonably suspect the propriety damage. You have a little more leeway to 'discover' the damage if it was latent ( hidden behind the walls).

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  • Contrator's contract warrants he hires only duly licensed subs. Is he in breach if he puts unlicensed subs on his payroll?

    When we suspected the contractor was using some unlicensed workers (poor work, workers admitted not licensed) we asked the contractor for proof of workers comp and CGL. He ignored repeated requests for this info. Due to various contract breache...

    David’s Answer

    It is not uncommon for a contractor to initially report to CSLB that they do not have employees. It only matters that they have workers comp coverage at the time of your contracted job.

    As for unlicensed subcontractor, if sub is unlicensed then they are deemed employees of the general contractor.

    You may have grounds for disgorgement and recovery of every dollar paid to the general contractor for using unlicensed subs.

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  • CA residents here planning to form a LLC to hold a rental just purchased in Arizona. Should we form LLC in AZ or CA?

    We understand there is a $800 annual fee that CA tax board charges even if LLC formed in AZ. Does AZ charge an annual fee for LLC formed in CA? Any other pros and cons we should think about. This is our only rental property.

    David’s Answer

    You may want to consider filing in California and avoid az llc fees and costs. If you were sued, you can force them to fight in CA instead of Az. Of course there are many other factors to consider to list when dealing with rental property in different states.

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  • Looking for a referral. Our home remodeling contractor botched the job and left it unfinished.

    We hired a contractor for a fairly sizable remodel. They screwed up the job, start to finish. There are currently hazards in my home, it failed the city inspection, and is not finished. They already admitted fault in writing, but don't seem to wa...

    David’s Answer

    Careful not to waste good money chasing after bad. If the contractor does not have sufficient resources to fix the problems that is existing, then it is very possible ( and probable) that the contractor has insufficient funds/money to satisfy any potential judgment against them. If the project is not completed, then it is probable that there would not have insurance coverage for the work performed.

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  • Can an unlicensed contractor hire a collection agency to collect money?

    Our GC did not pay an unlicensed cabinet sub that he hired and this sub built and installed the cabinets. The cabinet sub placed a lien on our property. After spending over $1000 on attorney fees for letters, emails and meetings the cabinet sub...

    David’s Answer

    short answer: an unlicensed contractor cannot legally enforce the debt against you.

    while the unlicensed contractor may hire a collection firm to 'bark' at you to pay the bill. He cannot actually 'bite' you because he cannot enforce his rights and cannot get a judgment against you.

    Try looking up contractor state license board. they have a lot of postings and articles about what kind of problems the unlicensed contractor faces for doing work without a license. The rules are pretty harsh against an unlicensed contractor.

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