Legal Question in Consumer Law in California

Can I fire my handyman? He shows up late, cancels or reschedules at the last minute and often disappears for hours claiming to be getting materials he didn't get enough of. He also miscalculated the amount of tile needed resulting in a month delay in an attempt to get the rest of the tile to complete the job. I have unfortunately paid him in cash and my husband hasn't received receipts for all payments. I have paid him $160 more than quoted because he guilted me because the job was taking more hours and he couldn't do other jobs. I had planned on paying him another hundred again guilt because of his family situation, I'm now very much against having him return. He was supposed to show up at 3 today and messaged my husband he was too busy and couldn't make it could he come tomorrow 15 minutes before he was supposed to be at my house. I also found out he was recently arrested for spousal abuse and am uncomfortable having him in my home.

Asked on 7/25/17, 9:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Does he have a contractor's license? If not, is the job costing $500 or more? If so, he is committing a crime by doing the work. Not only can you fire him, you can demand he repay every penny you have paid him. You should also turn him in to the Contractor's State License Board.

If he IS licensed, then did you have a written contract? If not, you have a messy situation, but have the upper hand because the law requires all licensed contractors to use written contracts. If he has not done the job as promised, you can fire him. If you do have a written contract, look for provisions about termination. If they are present, follow them. If not, again you can fire him if he has failed to perform the job as agreed.

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Answered on 7/28/17, 12:54 pm

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