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Question DetailsAsked on 8/26/2017

Can a landscaper put a lien on your house without a signed contract and no down payment

I hired a landscaper to redo my fence line to keep the dirt/rocks from being washed away and to keep critters and grass/weeds out. The existing rock was to be removed, weeds removed, sprayed and install edging along the fence line and the outside with weed mat put down and the rock put back. The edging along the fence was not to be visible due to it being a barrier. It took two days to finish. My fence was dirty, rock was left throughout my grass, the back edging was falling down and some of the edging was dirty not white, sprinkler rings were not put back, weeds still in the ground which means rock was not removed so the ground could be sprayed and new weed mat laid. Front edging had gaps. He came back a few times to redo even after I told him not to do anything without us discussing and me being there. The back edging is still visible and still falls over and weeds already growing after only a week. The job is not done as agreed and will have to be redone.

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1 Answer


Sure - any contractor or vendor who works on your house or supplies materials for it can file a lien upon non-payment. And the lack of a written contract (except in the very few states where a written contract or accepted bid/proposal/estimate is required by law for home repair/improvement work, the lack of a writtten contract does not affect that. Because he had a scope of work and you had evidently agreed upon him doing the work, you have at least an implied and most likely an explicit oral contract.

Since you are not happy with the work, you need to notify him (preferably in writing and keeping a copy yourself) of the deficiencies that need to be corrected, that you need an in-person meeting about the deficiencies BEFORE he does any more work, and that you will not pay him till done correctly.

If he refuses, then your normal recourse, assuming you are considering this an instance of shoddy or incomplete workmanship, not a fraud case (which it does not sound like to me), would be to call his Bond - contact the bonding company for his Bond (he is bonded, right ?) to pay for the job to be completed per the agreed-upon price.

Your other alternative is to come to an agreement with him for a price adjustment (or total refund) for incompetent or shoddy work, terminating the job with him and moving on to another well-rated and reviewed Landscaping or Lawn and Yard Work contractor.

And of course, after all is said and done, sound like an appropriate but honest Review on Angies List is in order.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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