If my contract says work is to be started in an estimated 3 to 4 weeks and it’s now the 5th week, can I get out of the contract?

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If my contract says work is to be started in an estimated 3 to 4 weeks and it’s now the 5th week, can I get out of the contract?

I have a contract with a company to re-do my shower. The contract states that the work was to be started in an estimated 3 to 4 weeks and that someone would contact me prior to this time to make arrangements. It is now the middle of the 5th week and I’ve heard nothing. I’ve called the 2 people who I was told were in charge of my work and they haven’t returned my calls. I’ve already given them a deposit on the work with the balance due upon completion. Can I cancel the work and get out of the contract?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, they appear to be in breach of a material (or important) term of the contract (the starting date) and also be in violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing by not even returning your calls. (The covenant of good faith and fair dealing requires parties to a contract to show good faith to other parties in carrying out their contracts.) This should provide you grounds to terminate the contract and also recover your deposit--though you made need to sue to do the latter, if the company does not voluntarily return it.


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