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I'm a interior designer , I used my own cash to pay items and labors for my client's construction works , now they refuse to pay

Chicago, IL |

.I had a contract agreement with this new hair salon that I listed all the services and prices for them , and indicated that does not cover or included their out door signs and lighting. They said they do not have enough cash flow as a new business , so they asked me to pay for the cost of the signs and lighting , keep the receipts, they will reimburse those petty cash later.
We signed the contract and they agree to pay the remind balance every two months for up to 3 payment terms. Now that six months is due, they paid for the amount that was agreed on the contract , but now they refuse to pay us the petty cash amount of $7000 dollars , which we provided all receipts and recorded labor costs , they claimed it wasn't listed in the contract so it's consider as our "gift" to them. help !

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Attorney answers 3


If this $7000 isn't incuded in the written contract, sue on the oral contract. Hopefully you have exmails and/or texts and/or IMs and/or witnesses who heard or saw these communications to support your version of the facts. If not, it will be your word against theirs, and I don't think it's likely that a Small Claims court judge would consider it credible that you gifted $7000 in labor and materials ot this client.

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls, and you shouldn't expect me to respond to your further questions if you haven't hired me. We need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


Even without a contract, you have a right to reimbursement for unjust enrichment = the value of the benefit conferred upon the other party.

Not to worry, you have plenty of legal remedies available. As pointed out, a judge or arbitrator is not likely to view $7,000 in expenditures for the benefit of a client as a gift.

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I am not familiar with Illinois law, but several states require contractors to be licensed to contract for construction work then provide goods and services pursuant to the contract--even painting, window tinting, etc. I'm sure at this point you're saying "I'm a designer, not a contractior," but under California law what you are doing is considered contracting and requires a contractor's license. My point is that you need to be aware of any legal requirements that Illinois may impose of businesses such as yours before you rush into court and demand payment under an oral contract or unjust enrichent theory.

Attention: This response is based upon general legal theories and may or may not specifically address issues that affect your individual legal matter or situation. It should not be relied upon outside of the jurisdiction(s) in which the attorney is licensed to practice as each state has different laws. Each situation is fact specific and requires comprehensive legal evaluation following a thorough consultation and review of all the facts and evidence available. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between the asking and answering parties.