I hired a contractor to do work on my house. We had a written contract.

During the construction, we discussed some additional work, but there was no written contract for the additional work The contractor did send me a bill for the additional work which I did not pay. I was told that in New York, agreements regarding real estate need to be in writing. Is the agreement to do the additional work legally enforceable even though it is not in writing?

New York, NY -

Attorney Answers (2)

Vincent Thomas Pallaci

Vincent Thomas Pallaci

Construction / Development Lawyer - Huntington Station, NY

What you are talking about is the statute of frauds. The "real estate" contracts referenced do not include the type of construction work you are talking about. Therefore, the statute of frauds will not bar the claim for extra work in New York. New York does require that all contracts for home improvement be in writing, but the penalty for not having change orders/extras in writing is not prohibition of the claim. Instead, the contractor may be subject to some fines by the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs and may not be entitled to contract price but stuck with the" value" of the work.

As a side note, make sure the contractor has a valid NYC home improvement license. If he or she does not, the entire claim is barred.

The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No... more
Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Criminal Defense Attorney - New York, NY

A contract for construction work is not real estate. If the work was done you owe the money and the contractor can sue you or put a mechanic's lien on your house.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more

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