started a project with a client and now they are backing out for no good reason…

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started a project with a client and now they are backing out for no good reason…

Did phase 1 of project finished 100 and got paid 100. Then phase 2 started got
deposit of half the contract to start phase 2. Started work then whole job site
was put on hold for almost a year. Outside forces causing this. Then all of the
sudden the customer now wants their deposit back. WE were schedule to finish
phase 2 Oct. 21st In Florida. The deposit went towards materials and there isn’t
any money left to give back. 21k deposit 12k so far worth of real work done and
the rest is in materials. Total contract 42k can this person really sue me? He’s
asking for 10-15k back

Asked on October 11, 2016 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You write that the "whole job site was put on hold for almost a year." If there was a delivery or completion date in the contract and you passed it, you would be in breach of contract. It does not matter if it was "outside forces causing this"--if you are in breach of contract by missing a delivery date, then you are in breach of contract. In this case, if you violated the contract by missing some milestone, delivery, or completion date, then your custome is entitled to their money back--you cannot keep the  customer's money while not delivering what you were supposed to.
If, on the other hand, there was no date in the contract which you missed, and/or the customer approved the delays, then there is no breach and you should not have to return the client's money.


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