What are our options due to a breach of contract by a contractor.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are our options due to a breach of contract by a contractor.

My sister and I inherited our parents home in Hilo,Hawaii recently. Due to the overgrown grass and shrubs, we hired a contractor neighbor to our parentsto clear the grass and shrubs, haul it away and level the property. The clearing and hauling was done however not the leveling. Contracted agreement was 5700.00. We paid him 3500.00 to get started. He requested final payment of 2200.00 before the leveling was completed so my sister gave it to him plus 200.00 This neighbor seemed very nice and stated he is in the process of trying to purchase the house he is renting across the street. This was all back in 10/2018. As of this dated, 12/18/2018 he has not leveled the property yet. He keeps giving excuses and saying it will be done next week, but nothing. My sister is so upset she can’t talk to him anymore, so I’m e-mailing him from California. He agrees that he has that one last leveling to do but has not completed it yet. What are our options to get this taken care of?

Asked on December 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your only option is to sue him--that's how you enforce contracts (including oral ones) and other agreements. You can sue him to recover that part of what you paid him which was for or is attributable to the leveling (the undone work); the action can be settled or resolved by him doing the work.

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