How to I get paid if I’m a contractor and my customer no longer wants me to finish the project?

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How to I get paid if I’m a contractor and my customer no longer wants me to finish the project?

I was contracted to do a landscaping job, which I started. I have 3-4 days of work left. I would like to finish so that I can get at least get paid for what I have done. However, I was told not to come back to the project. If that is the case, how do I get paid for what I have done?

Asked on June 21, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You sue the customer for the money he/she owes you under two different theories (you can present multiple legal theories in a lawsuit, and it's beneficial to do so when you can):
1) Breach of contract: there was an agreement (whether written, oral, or a mix of both) under which you agreed to do a project and they agreed to pay you. If you were doing your part (doing the work as agreed), the customer cannot call the deal or agreement off midway threw and deny you the benefit (the ability to complete the work and get paid) that you and he agreed to.
2) Unjust enrichment: even if the work is not done, you have done part of it. He knew you were doing the work for pay (and not as a gift to him, for example). It is illegal for someone to accept services that he knows were offered or done only for pay without paying; he would be "unjustly enriched" by accepting your work without paying you.


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