Legal Question in Construction Law in California

13 months ago we performed work (sub-contracted) twice for a flooring sub-contractor and was never paid. The original sub-contractor signed the lien release (I have copies). I've been told that since the sub signed the lien release, they are stating that there they have paid for all material/labor? secondly, is the time lapse going to reduce my ability to pursue legally? thank you.

P.S. - the two jobs were for a total of $16,000, and no physical contract exists between the sub and I... we had a good working relationship before and contracts were never needed. ..... I know.... stupid.

Asked on 5/29/14, 2:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nick Campbell Builders Law Group

If this was for residential work, it may not have been "stupid" but it's likely illegal. The failure to have a written home improvement subcontract is a violation of the contracting laws. On the plus side, at most, that's a CSLB violation and likely not fatal to your right to recover money owed. You have two years from the date of breach (e.g. the date payment to you was due) to sue to enforce a verbal contract.

The upper tier subcontractor is also in violation of the contracting laws by falsely certifying that everyone was paid and you could theoretically complain to the CSLB but this may raise the flag of your own violations.

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Answered on 5/29/14, 4:34 pm

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