I am in California and I hired a contractor to do some work on a table. He told me it would cost $30/hr or $240 max. Once the job was done, he sent a bill for $455. Upon inquiring about the extra fees, he said it took longer than expected and needed to pay more in "workers comp and payroll liabilities" for his subcontractor. I of course refused to pay and he put a mechanic's lien on my house for $499 (the additional fee, he claims, is for the extra time and filing fees). This all occurred within 2 weeks of completing the job.
In my opinion, this is a gross abuse of the system by the contractor and I am not sure how to respond. I paid the original agreed upon amount but he just tore it up. The $200 is not even worth my time, but I refuse to pay out of principal.
*I can't imagine anyone would pursue foreclosing on my house over $200 and I just bought it and have no plans to refinance or sell for a long time. Do I need to fight it?
*From reading over the mechanic's lien laws, there seem to be very tight rules on what fees can be included in a lien. Is his lien even valid with fees such as: workers comp, payroll liabilities and filing fees?
*The work did not improve my house at all. It was on a table. Can he still file the lien on my house?
*He didn't provide the 20 day notice and simply slipped the lien under my mat. Is this valid?