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The company I hired to build a sunroom can't fix a leak in my roof. Can I walk away from contract?

Reading, MA |

I hired a company in June to build a sunroom on top of my existing deck. They took forever to build it and the roof now leaks. They have had 5 opportunities to fix the leak and they can't do it. I no longer want the room as I fear it will always have issues. I have not paid any money to them. Can I walk away and ask them to take it back without paying them. Its now January and I don't see an end in sight.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Was this company duly licensed in Massachusetts? Have you documented the deficiencies, your notices of the deficiencies and the failures to remedy the defects?

The AG's Consumer Protection Division may be able to help. If not, the MA and Suffolk County bar associations can give you referrals to consumer protection attorneys.

The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

Your approach is wrong. They may be entitled to some money. At the same time, they must fix the problem. Consult an attorney.


henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- attorneylebensbaum@verizon.net (978) 749-3606.
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Posted

Not likely as there has been some improvement to your property and they have provided materials and labor. You may be able to hire another company to fix the leaks and any other deficiencies that the first company failed to remedy after being notified by you and then deduct what you have to pay to get it done "right" from what you owe the first company. That is called "cover" so that you are not stuck. But the first company, so long as it can show it added value, can sue to recover either on the contract (which you might have grounds to defend) and/or "quantum meruit" which means based on the value of what was added or provided.

A practical solution would be to get an estimate or two from another company for repairing whatever needs to be fixed that would have this sunroom be as you expected it to be had the first company done it right. Then, approach the first company, and attempt to settle up with it that it (a) fix everything to your satisfaction by a certain date (independent inspection perhaps to verify) or (b) accepts a reduced price to allow you to pay one of the companies that gave you an estimate and a tad more perhaps for your trouble.

Glad to discuss such practical solutions with you. I would not be providing legal advice, but using my mediator and business perspectives to help guide you to a resolution.

I am an attorney licensed in Georgia. I am not a licensed counselor or therapist. I am writing as an attorney who has handled litigation for 31 years. I am not, by this response, providing any legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established.

Posted

If there is what's called a "material breach" of the contract, you are excused from further performance under the contract. Depending upon the particular circumstances The company's failure to properly build the sunroom without creating leaks may arguably be a material breach excusing you from performing under the contract. I would recommend consulting an attorney who specializes in breach of contract disputes.

George C. Samiotes, Esq.
Blake J. Godbout & Associates
33 Broad St # 1100
Boston, MA 02109-4230
(617) 523-6677
George@bjgalaw.com
www.bjgalaw.com‎

The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be relied upon in place of an actual consultation with an attorney. Attorney Samiotes is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, and the Court of International Trade. Most initial consultations are free. Further information is available on my profile and at http://www.bjgalaw.com/.