Do I need to return a down payment for a job that was never done 2 years ago?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I need to return a down payment for a job that was never done 2 years ago?

The builder hired us the to do concrete work for a house gave 30$ down. We were set to start but was deleayed on their half for different reasons. Now, 2 years later, they have completely cancelled the job and want the 30% back.

Asked on August 8, 2018 under Business Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If THEY delayed ("was delayed on their [be]half for different reasons") and THEY now cancelled the work ("they have completely cancelled"), you do not need to return the deposit. The deposit only needs to be returned if 1) YOU fail or refuse to do the work; or 2) the work becomes impossible for some reason completely beyond anyone's possible control or influence (e.g. you were to work on a house which was taken by the government using eminent domain or which was obliterated by a gas line explosion). Otherwise, since A) the  other side has breached the agreement by not going forward with the work, and B) the entire purpose of the deposit is to encourage you to reserve the time and resources for the work by giving you some compensation no matter what (and to encourage the other side to go through with the project by having them "put skin in the game"), they cannot use their own failure or refusal to get their money back.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption