Need help fast (mechanics lien)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ocutter, Jun 8, 2001.

  1. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    OK this is a long story so bear with me. Last year a new comm. building was being built. It needed treework, scaping, etc. Got the treework portion. We (my sub) got started and was interrupted by other construction subs' trucks, scaffolding, and building materials. We did the work but never got to the stump grinding due to the scaffolding and weather. This was in Nov/Dec.

    Work by the builders was not completed until April of this yr. Stumps were still there. I called my sub and he arranged to get there ASAP. My sub went to the site the next day and they were removed by the builders' dozers and graders.

    Upset yet understanding I wrote a letter to the person I dealt with for that co. and stated that I was sorry I was not able to complete the work as promised. Since last year there were a few add ons (extra trees removed) that were NOT part of the est. I adjusted the est. minus the stumpgrinding, plus the tree removal and submitted it to her. A total of $1900.00. She gets back to me stating that she was stunned about the add ons and that she was even more shocked to hear that 3 tree experts said the work was shoddy and could incur more disease than before.

    Now she is withholding the remainder of the balance until township inspection o.k's it. And even then withholding it for one year as a guarantee for the trees survival. Should any tree die the cost comes from the remainder.

    I am super PI$$ED right now and see no alternative than seeing her in court. My sub has dealt with commercial ac****s before and mentioned a Lien that would halt their business until ALL contractors are paid. I need any direction in this matter.

  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    First find a LAWYER, you're in trouble all ready because you didn't complete work in a timly manner, this is June last time you were on site and did work is over 90 days, your rights have expired in most states.
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    Paul's right. Any lien action must be completed within 90 days of your last day of work on the site (in most states).

    This is why 'documentation' is a key element of working on commercial sites.

    Good luck.
  4. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    Why hire a lawyer for $1,900? If the work was done as specified on the contract, then you should be paid. In PA, a small claim is upto 3,000 dollars. File a small claim and let the contract speak for itself. If she wanted to hire a real arborist, then she should have shopped around. Certified arborist around this area butcher trees all the time. A tree will not die within a year or two.

    Put the claim in small claims court, they probably won't show.

    Just .02
  5. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Who did the job scheduling? Why would you wait this long to collect? Was there a written contract? Did you have a signed work order? I hope you have a paper trail to document this.

    To have a binding contract both parties must agree. You cannot unilaterally add additional work and expect to name your price. That is what a change order is for.

    Get what you can and write the rest off to the price of education. Next time you go into the ball game find out what the rules are first.

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