What to do if I hired a contractor to side my garage and home but I fired him the first day because the work was poorly done and now he won’t return all of the deposit?

He took a deposit of $2150 for supplies, he now says he will only return $1500. I need to know if theres anything I can do. I’m not sure he plans to return anything; I didn’t believe him.

Asked on September 15, 2014 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the work was not commercially acceptable, that would constitute a material breach of the contract which would entitle you to terminate the contract and recover the money you paid (less any amount which is appropriate to pay for any portion of the work which *was* acceptable). However, if the contractor will not voluntarily return it, your recourse would be to sue him, such as in small claims court (acting as your own attorney, to minimize legal fees) for breach of contract; if you win in court, you will get a money judgment ordering him to pay.

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