What are my rights if I hired a contractor to build a fence but the finished product is not suitable?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights if I hired a contractor to build a fence but the finished product is not suitable?

It is not level or straight, just poor craftsmanship. It must be rebuilt entirely. Cost to undo the work done is $1600. We have no contract and no money has been paid to date. Can the contractor take legal action against me if I refuse to pay? Am I entitled to the money needed to uninstall his fence so I can start over with a different contractor?

Asked on September 25, 2015 under Business Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1 Yes, the contractor can sue you for breach of contract there is always a contract in cases like this, even if it was just an oral, often called verbal, agreement that he'd build a fence and you'd pay him, if you fail to pay. If you are sued, you can raise as a defense or offset that the contractor breached the contract by not providing a commercial acceptable fence, was professional negligent or careless, and/or committed fraud lied about what he could or would do.
2 You could sue the contractor or countersue, if he sues you on the grounds discussed above to seek from him trhe cost to redo/repair the work.

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