Is it legal for a general contractor to withholdall compensation for work completed by a sub-contractor?

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Is it legal for a general contractor to withholdall compensation for work completed by a sub-contractor?

I am contracted as a sub to perform explicit labor services at local apartment complex. I have finished everything on my list satisfactorily with the exception of items I’m not able to complete due to waiting on GC to supply the materials per his contract (90% done). For 2 months now I have worked everyday without any compensation and paid for some parts out of my pocket with him telling me he would repay me. It has been 3 weeks of excuses of why materials are not there. I have asked for compensation for partial payment due to work complete and he refuses because it’s not 100% complete per his contract.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a contract with the general contractor regarding the work that you have performed concerning the work of improvement that you are writing about, you need to carefully read the contract in that its terms control the obligations owed to you by the general contractor and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

Look for all provisions regarding when you are to be paid. Typical subcontract agreements call for payments upon approval by the building inspector of various stages of work.

If you do not have a written contract for the work you have done (or if you do it fails to state when you are to be paid), then it appears you have to wait until you complete the terms of your subcontract.


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