Do I have the right to withhold payment of a bill if the contractor has not provide an itemized invoice so that I know I’m not being overcharged?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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Do I have the right to withhold payment of a bill if the contractor has not provide an itemized invoice so that I know I’m not being overcharged?

The contractor has completed their work which included both roofing and interior restoration were there was water damage from a leak. I had provided the contract company with the insurance appraisal for damages and signed a cost proposal based on the insurance adjustment information. The contractor, at the completion of the roof work, ask for payment which was given for that portion of the job. They provided an invoice which was not itemized and now that the interior work is complete they have submitted another non-itemized invoice. I am with holding final payment pending an itemized invoice.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific right to withhold payment pending an itemized invoice, unless the contract/service agreement provided for this right in some way (e.g. it was a term of the contract that you be provided an itemized invoice).

If you believe you are being overcharged and cannot work it out, then you might pay any amount(s) which are not in dispute--and see if the contractor will take you to court for the disputed balance. Only do this if you truly, in good faith, believe you are being overcharged--a mere absence of an itemized invoice is not enough.

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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