I purchased a gazebo from a well know company in Pa. I live in NJ. I also paid for foundation and work to be done by company. I was told that they had insurance, but I had to get the permit. My township refuses. They are not licensed or insured in my state. They also insist that I pay $1300 for engineer plans my township demands. They can not build here, so they are trying to hire a NJ contractor of their choice. Nasty attitude, blaming me and the township saying that they did not do anything wrong. I have to pay for $600 permit. I want out of this contract and my thousands and thousands of payment back. what can I do? Earlier, when I asked about them being insured, they said yes. License, they said yes in many states. I am trying to get a lawyer and have them also pay for this suit, due to fraud. No work was started and I am not getting the expert construction team from their company do the work as I paid for.
From what you are saying they made either a negligent or intentional misrepresentation about being licensed and insured. This is actionable as a breach of contract and possibly fraud. I would talk to an attorney right away about getting out of the contract.
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In many states unlicensed construction work can lead to all progress payments being "disgorged" by the contractor, meaning you can get paid back. Your initial thoughts are correct, fraud, misrepresentation, etc., are possible causes of action to bring suit, but the license issue is a clear winner, especially if they told you they had one.
In addition to the good information you have gotten from the other attorneys, I suggest you report this company to the agency or board that licenses contractors in both states (assuming there is one, which I imagine is the case). Often those agencies have a procedure for filing claims and may assist you in resolving it. They are potentially violating any license they have in PA and may be subject to penalties for selling unlicensed contracting in NJ. When a contractor knows its license may be in jeopardy, it can be persuasive in getting the contractor to settle the issues with you.
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I suspect your contract requires you to pay for permits and fees. If it doesn't their attorney dropped the ball.
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I can't be certain without actually seeing the contract, but if they contracted to do work for you without being licensed, then your contract could be voidable - meaning its invalid because they did not have the right to make the contract. Some of what you say does indicate fraud, at least negligence on their part, and depending on the course of action you take, you could ask for attorney fees. Why don't you contact a local attorney from Avvo's database? Many of us offer a free consultation.
Installing a gazebo is a "home improvement" under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the Contractor Registration Act. In NJ, a contractor must be registered with the state before they can be issued a construction permit by a municipal building department. They are also required to be registered before the can sell a home improvement. A violation of the acts renders your contract illegal and unenforceabe. You should consult with a consumer protection attorney.
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The first rule of contract law is that the Court looks to the four walls of the Contract for resolution. Without seeing this Contract, unless it states that installation is to be "performed by other licensed contractor" or something similar, then the other party entered into a Contract knowing they had no legal ability to perform as promised. Thus we have breach, fraud, misrepresented promises... or possibly just someone who is not experienced enough to know what they are doing. When people cause harm, intentional or not, they must give restitution, and it appears you were wronged and deserve restitution... You know, I did exactly what you did back in 1996. I live in central NJ and bought from a PA Amish outdoor furniture company... they even had a showroom in a flee market type mall in Franklin Twp., I believe. Anyway, they delivered my 14' Gazebo and a large swing set on a wide flatbed, fully assembled. They leveled it on the existing ground. And there it has stayed ever since... No foundation, no engineering or architectural plans or permits were ever needed. What Township is giving you such a hard time?
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