Do I have to pay a contractor who did not finish work? Can I hire a new contractor to finish?

Asked about 2 years ago - Onalaska, TX

We hired a contractor to clear a piece of property. We verbally agreed to $2400, but there is no written agreement. We paid no money upfront. They told us the work would be completed in one week. It has now been a month and we cannot begin building our home until it is completed. He will not return our phone calls. I have two questions. Can I hire a contractor to finish the work? And will I still owe the first contractor the full amount, if anything at all? What do I need to do to ensure he does nto put a lien against my new home.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Orsen E. Paxton III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . He cannot validly file a lien on this property. If he does you will have a lawsuit against him and you will be able to recover a minimum of $10000 for filing a false lien. Verbal agreements are enforceable if they can be performed within one year. Proving the terms of a verbal agreement often is a swearing match between the two parties. Emails and witnesses could become very valuable. Retain them. You mentioned phone calls but no written notice or demand to complete. See a lawyer and have him/her prepare that notice and demand. Then when the time for responding has expired, you can hire someone to complete the work and offset that cost against what you owe the original contractor.

    DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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