do I have a case

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do I have a case

I bought a house to flip and a friend recommended a roofer. The roofer came and offered to do all the repairs on the entire house in exchange for being a 12.5% partner upon sale of the house. Well it turned into a nightmare; he pulled permits through another contractor who he paid a fee and sent unlicensed workers who made a complete mess. He then measured the new roof trusses incorrectly which threw off the whole structure which delayed the project by 6 months as the city put a stop work order on us. We found out later that he had no qualifications as a roofer and uses another man’s license to run his business. He had told us that the project would take 6 months but took 2 years of which I ended up doing everything myself. Unfortunately there was no written contract stating a time or the work to be done. Now the house is closing in 30 days and he is coming out demanding 12.5% and threatened me with a lawyer. He wants me to sign a letter from his lawyer stating that I will pay him.

Asked on October 16, 2016 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Explain to him that unless *he* gives up any/all claims, you will countersue him for fraud (lying about his qualifications and what he could or would do), breach of fidiciary duty (violating the obligation to act in an honest and reasonable fashion which any business partner owes another), breach of contract (violating the agreement as to what he would do), and professional negligence (or carelessness) and will seek to recover all amounts or costs he cost you, such as additional costs to do the work, the carrying cost for having to hold the home for an extra year and a half, etc. Explain you will also raise his fraud and breach of contract as defenses to any amounts he claims you owe him: when people commit fraud or violated contracts, they often cannot collect on the agreement. And furthermore, that you will report him to the authorities for being an unlicensed contractor and fraudulently using another's license.
Then if he carries through with trying to sue you, do those things: countersue him; plead his behavior as a defense; and contact the appropriate state agency(ies) which oversee contractors. Note that if it does come to litigation, you will probably want to retain an attorney to help you.


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