Is it legal for an apartment property manager to charge a contractor a fee ifthecontractor wants their money prior to agreed upon date?

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Is it legal for an apartment property manager to charge a contractor a fee ifthecontractor wants their money prior to agreed upon date?

A contractor completed a job for an apartment manager and later found out they only pay contractors once every 30 days. When the contractor asked for the money early, the apartment manager said in order to get paid every Friday, the contractor would have to give the apartment manager a 20% discount. Is this legal?

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the contract or work agreement, etc. specifies when paymenet is due, that is enforceable; and to have it paid earlier than that, the customer (the property manager) would have to voluntarily agree to do so, and could ask for a discount or other consideration for doing so.

If there was no indication of when invoices would be paid, then 30 days is still probably the reasonable time frame--most invoices for contractors are payable within 30 days, and it is very rare to pay a contractor weekly (unless specified so in the contract). Therefore, the property manager could most likely refuse to pay earlier than 30 days, unless you offer it something (a discount) to make it worthwhile--in the absence of specific terms, courts would look to common norms or standards to decide what is reasonable, which is probably payment "net 30."


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