If a deposit has been paid, how doI get a contractor to starta job?

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If a deposit has been paid, how doI get a contractor to starta job?

I gave a contractor a 50% deposit which totalled over $1,100 for fence work. It is a reputable company not an individual. This was 23 days ago without a start date insight. We have a signed contract and verbally they said they would start in a week; this would make it over 2 weeks ago. They blame it on rain pushing them out but it only rained 1 time in the 23 day period. What can I do? I am sure I can get the money back but I really do not want to go through the hassle of finding another contractor. I just want them to do the work.

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should sue the contractor, but not in small claims court--in county court. The reason is, while you will list recovery of your deposit (and possibly other monetary compensation) as one of the things you are seeking, you could seek "specific performance" as an alternative remedy; that is a court order requiring the contractor to honor his obligations under the contract. You ask for this by seeking what's known as injunctive relief, which is not available in small claims court. Good luck.


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