My husband did a $931 built-up leak repair (no warranty) for a landlord. She sent us the contract just before a rain, and called wanting to know if we’d be able to get to it before the rain. We told her no since there is a 3 day right to cancel in California and we didn’t have time in our schedule anyway.
During the rain, she called and left a message that there was another leak. When he called back to get the skinny and make sure the tenant could let him in to look at the ceiling, the owner claimed the existing leak just got bigger. We think she just didn’t want to pay anymore than the original contract.
He fixed the leak (place on bldg. noted in contract). Now she is refusing to pay since he didn’t fix what was actually another leak. She told him that he should have seen the other leak without being told about it since he is a professional. He told her if she’d told him about it, it wouldn’t have cost much, but to tow the kettle out and heat it up takes a couple hours minimum. He was irritated that she tried to blame him for the mess her dishonesty created.
The last time we had trouble collecting on a job I asked a legal consultant in our builder’s assoc. and he recommended small claims. He said the mechanics lien process is too expensive because you have to take it to superior court within 30 days where you have to hire an attorney to represent you. I tried to get our supplier to send a mechanic’s lien notice, but the materials were under $1k.
Does anyone have any experience collecting payments under the amount needed for a mechanics lien? Should I try a collection agency or small claims? My husband doesn’t even want to talk to the owner after she insulted his professional skills, so it’s up to the company secretary (me)! I’d negotiate to fix the additional leak, if she paid us for the work we’ve already done.
One loose end: we haven’t called the city for the final inspection and still have the job card. Don’t know whether we should call & tell them what’s up, but not inclined to do more work if we won’t get paid. Can we hold the job card for any leverage, or should we get the final inspection before court? :x