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Question DetailsAsked on 4/9/2016

If I signed a contact with a painter to stain my deck a year ago and they didn't do the job yet is it null/void?

I signed a contract with him last year and he never came so can I assume that the contract is null and void and look for someone else?

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1 Answer


Not automatically. Technically to be a legal contract it has to have such elements as pricing or cost terms, contract signing date and signature by both parties, a scope of work or statement of what is going to be done (which may be defined as indeterminate for certain items up front, TBD and to be covered by change orders once conditions are discovered by exploration or demolition or such) - and a work performance start and completion date, though if start date is not specified courts usually do not get existed about it and just use the contract signing date on the assumption he could have started the work at any time after signing it.

So - if it had a completion date and that has gone by, you can just send him (use certified return receipt mail for proof and keep that mailing receipt and return receipt card with a copy of the letter) notice that due to non-performance you are cancelling the contract. It is possible, depending on how late (if in summer/fall) the contract was signed and weather at that time, that he assumed he was going to do the work this spring/summer - though of course that should have been reflected in the start/completion date if such was the case.

If you paid any money up front be sure to make arrangements for getting that back - and of course this all assumes he never started any work. Generally speaking, if he did not start work or pruchase materials specifically for the job, he cannot keep the deposit unless it specifically stated in the contract that a certain amount was a non-refundable deposit.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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