After receiving our deposit, contractor wants to terminate agreement and keep deposit

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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After receiving our deposit, contractor wants to terminate agreement and keep deposit

We hired a contractor to install a 1/2 bath and laundry sink in our basement
here in Lansing, Michigan. We paid a total of 1250 in deposits. Now he said
he’s no longer interested in the project since we didn’t buy our cabinets
through him. His email said he ‘feels like just an installer rather than the
general contractor’. The agreement mentions nothing about having to buy
cabinets or any materials through him, and at no point did he mention we had
too. Had we known previously, we wouldn’t have entered the agreement or given
him a deposit. Can we get our deposit back? The amount is under the limit
for Small Claims Court in Michigan.

Asked on July 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the contractor for breach of contract for failure to do the work and for insisting that you buy cabinets, etc. through him which was not part of the contract.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the $1250 deposit total you had paid.
You can file your lawsuit in small claims court.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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