What are my options for dealing with a deadbeat contractor?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my options for dealing with a deadbeat contractor?

I hired a contractor to repair and replace stucco on the back wall of my home

total cost about $9,000. The job was supposed to take 1 week but 6 weeks

later the job was barely 1/2 done. Also, we caught the contractor lying to us about the cost of materials and he claimed he was near bankruptcy and needed more money right away to keep working. He also frequently failed to show up to work and did not call ahead of time to tell us he wouldn’t be there. We asked him to stop work and found another contractor to complete the job. The old deadbeat contractor left some of his scaffolding materials on our property, and after a month has done nothing to retrieve it, despite numerous attempts by us to arrange for him to get it. We’re looking at the possibility to sue him for damages and at the very least for options to get his equipment off of our property in a way that doesn’t expose us to liability.

Asked on November 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for breach of contract (violating what he agreed to do) and/or fraud (misrepresenting, or lying about, what he could or would do) to recover any amounts paid to him for which you did not receive good quality, complete work, and/or for any costs you incured (such as if he had to pay extra to the 2nd contactor to have the work completed or redone). In the lawsuit, you can potentially settle the matter with some monetary compensation and him either agreeing, in a legally enforceable way, to remove his items and/or give them to you, so you can throw them out or resell them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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