Can an architect quit a project for non-payment?

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Can an architect quit a project for non-payment?

Client did not pay last invoice from September. On January 4, Client did construction loan that required my signature agreeing,

Asked on February 3, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may: the law does not require you to work for free and does not require you to work when the client is in breach of their agreement or contract by not paying. A good idea is to first sent a demand letter and give them in the letter some short but reasonable time (e.g. 5-10 business days) to pay their bills, on pain of you terminating your work for nonpayment; then if they don't pay, stop working. Send the letter some way or ways you can prove delivery (e.g. by certified priority mail or fed ex and also by fax or email).
Bear in mind that separate from whether you can stop working, if they default on the loan and the lender becomes aware that you concealed (even if only carelessly and not delibrerately) the client's default from them and therefore gave a false statement to help the client get the loan, the lender could sue you for compensation as well as going after the client.


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