I installed hardwood flooring in the property i was a tenant in, I was not paid, and now received a summons to evict

My mother is divorcing my stepdad, He was living in my moms place, I lived in his townhouse. He wanted to upgrade the flooring in 2018. I ended up doing 75 of the installation and I was not compensated at all. I am and now being summoned to leave the property as well. Is this a matter that I can take to small claims court in Arizona? I spent a whole 3 weeks installing this wood flooring and would like to be compensated for the work that I did. Your answer is appreciated

Asked on October 3, 2019 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can only be compensated IF there had been an agreement in place that you would be paid for the work: if there was such an agreement (whether written or unwritten [oral]) you can enforce it. Note however that while an oral or unwritten agreement would be enforceable, it clearly can be much more difficult to prove the existence or terms of it in court, if your stepfather denies that such an agreement existence or how much he owes you under it.
However, in the absence of such an agreement--that is, if you did the work before getting an agreement or committment from him to pay you--you have no right to compensation; you essentially gifted him the floor and your labor in this case. When you do something for someone without them first agreeing to pay or compensate you for it, you cannot after-the-fact make them pay you.


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