Does a consumer have the right to refuse to pay a contractor because of a dispute over the quality of the work?

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Does a consumer have the right to refuse to pay a contractor because of a dispute over the quality of the work?

Asked on November 2, 2015 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends what you mean by "dispute": if the work was not the work that was contracted for (e.g. the contractor did the wrong work, etc.) or was not of generally or reasonably commercially acceptable quality, the consumer may be justified in not paying--though would have to accept the risk that the contractor would sue for the money and the consumer would have defend against the suit in court (where the judge and/or jury would decide who was right--i.e.. if the work was sufficiently low quality or incorrect as to justify nonpayment).
If the work is of generally acceptable quality and was what was contracted for, but simply isn't as nice as the consummer wanted, he/she would have to pay. If he/she didn't, the contractor would have a good chance of prevailing in a lawsuit.


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