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Hired The "Home Repair Contractor From Hell".. Can they sue/recover?

Rob Boudrie

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If the contractor is smart and saw a gun mag, he'll just say "I see you own guns. If you don't sign this release of complete satisfaction I will have your LTC revoked by the end of the day tomorrow and the first words the attorney for your criminal charge will hear are 'my retainer is'".
 

BigTimber

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My advice is forget the courts. Only one getting paid is the lawyers. And dragging out the pain and anger isn’t helping the kids psyche from the sounds of it. Not to mention any contract? I can hear him now” Gee judge I wanted to finish but I’m scared of them, their crazy, threw me off the job for no reason blah blah blah...he said she said ... Just more money and time down the hole. Be thankful they have the windows at all. Most folks getting really screwed right a big check and poof nothing, crackhead Larry’s moved south go F yourself. And absolutely should no one confront anyone, that’s Amateur hour and turns victims into the bad guys. Time to Move on, could be way worse, sucks but like others have said everyone’s still healthy and at least you have the product.
 

Dan-o

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Not sure if already mentioned, here but I would remove interior casing and see if any insulation was used.
Might not notice til winter.
 

Picton

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Well, again, this is an expensive lesson many of us have learned. The guy who did this same thing to us is still just about the only person I can think of in my whole life who makes me incandescent with rage (Rick D’Alessandro is his name. And his wife Luisa is just as bad). He destroyed our bathroom and stole our money and taught us to be more careful next time. And ten years later I’m still pissed.

So your neph and his wife probably won’t just happily move on and get over it.

But that’s life. They’ll get no satisfaction from this guy and the courts can do little. They’ll never see a cent, the guy isn’t going to jail, and he’s probably already changed his company name and started swindling others.

That’s life. They’ll be more wary next time.
 

GlockJock

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You can file a claim against his insurer for damage he caused to your property. I didn't go through the pics and am not handy or good at evaluating construction stuff, but if there's actual damage to your home caused by the contractor you could file a claim against his insurance company.
They won't pay for non-performance or dissatisfaction w/ the work but if there's actual damage to the home, that should be covered. If your nephew got a Certificate of insurance his carrier/policy information is on there, shouldn't be too hard to find a company claim number. If you want to message me the Certificate of Insurance I can see if it's one of my carriers or if I can find a number anyway. If your nephew didn't get a copy of a Certificate of Insurance, if the guy pulled a permit w/ the town they should have a copy. I suspect that the threat of putting in a claim (assuming he has insurance) may be enough for him to make things right. Also, you mentioned he had helpers, ask for a Workers Comp certificate or tell him you'll report him to the Division of Industrial Accidents for not having comp insurance (you can say you understood that you were hiring a sole proprietor w/ no employees but the guy had helpers with him, and one was underage). Again, hopefully the threats of doing this will be enough for him to make things right.

Len, in general the reason you want a Certificate is if the guy does damage to the house or causes injuries while doing the work. Often, the damage is something that may manifest itself later, like a faulty electrical job causing a fire or a bad plumbing job that causes water damage down the road. Those are the main reasons for insisting on an insurance certificate. If they have employees you want to get a Workers Comp certificate in case their employees get injured on the job because they might come after you (your homeowners policy) otherwise.
To file a claim against his insurance policy/contractors insurance, how do they find out who the guy's insurance company is?
 

Buck F

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To file a claim against his insurance policy/contractors insurance, how do they find out who the guy's insurance company is?
Did they get a Certificate of Insurance from the guy? If he pulled a permit the Building Inspector should have a copy of his insurance cert.
 

Buck F

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If the contractor is smart and saw a gun mag, he'll just say "I see you own guns. If you don't sign this release of complete satisfaction I will have your LTC revoked by the end of the day tomorrow and the first words the attorney for your criminal charge will hear are 'my retainer is'".
Sad, but true.
 

Len-2A Training

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To file a claim against his insurance policy/contractors insurance, how do they find out who the guy's insurance company is?
Each Certificate of Insurance that I've received has the contractor's contact info, name of insurance company and agent's contact info plus policy number all on that form.

So if homeowner received it or the BI received it as part of the permit application, it is all there.

The real question is can you collect against it for shoddy work or is it there strictly if someone gets injured due to their shoddy work? I don't know and part of my motivation for the question is that I'm in a slightly different situation. I paid a contractor to install an HVAC system (mini-splits) in my NH home and he did a crappy job, ignored my Emails and text messages until 2.5 months after I did a charge-back on my cc for some of what I paid him (he broke his lease, moved to parts unknown but still had the old address on his FB page). I've since contracted with a recommended professional company and the work to fix what he did/didn't do properly is going to cost me another ~$4K. After that work is completed, I plan to do another charge-back on my cc for that work. After all that, I will write appropriate reviews accordingly, sticking to facts.
 

Buck F

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Each Certificate of Insurance that I've received has the contractor's contact info, name of insurance company and agent's contact info plus policy number all on that form.

So if homeowner received it or the BI received it as part of the permit application, it is all there.

The real question is can you collect against it for shoddy work or is it there strictly if someone gets injured due to their shoddy work? I don't know and part of my motivation for the question is that I'm in a slightly different situation. I paid a contractor to install an HVAC system (mini-splits) in my NH home and he did a crappy job, ignored my Emails and text messages until 2.5 months after I did a charge-back on my cc for some of what I paid him (he broke his lease, moved to parts unknown but still had the old address on his FB page). I've since contracted with a recommended professional company and the work to fix what he did/didn't do properly is going to cost me another ~$4K. After that work is completed, I plan to do another charge-back on my cc for that work. After all that, I will write appropriate reviews accordingly, sticking to facts.
Liability insurance will pay for property damage or injuries sustained either during the work or afterwards if caused by the [shoddy] work. For example: Staging or a ladder falls during construction injuring someone or damaging the property. Shoddy electrical work causes a fire six months later, damages the home/injures someone. Deck collapses due to faulty construction (may cause injuries, may not). Pipes not insulated properly freeze and cause water damage. Stuff like that. It generally will not cover shoddy work itself unless there's actual damage to the property or causes injuries. If that helps.
 
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GlockJock

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Each Certificate of Insurance that I've received has the contractor's contact info, name of insurance company and agent's contact info plus policy number all on that form.

So if homeowner received it or the BI received it as part of the permit application, it is all there.

The real question is can you collect against it for shoddy work or is it there strictly if someone gets injured due to their shoddy work? I don't know and part of my motivation for the question is that I'm in a slightly different situation. I paid a contractor to install an HVAC system (mini-splits) in my NH home and he did a crappy job, ignored my Emails and text messages until 2.5 months after I did a charge-back on my cc for some of what I paid him (he broke his lease, moved to parts unknown but still had the old address on his FB page). I've since contracted with a recommended professional company and the work to fix what he did/didn't do properly is going to cost me another ~$4K. After that work is completed, I plan to do another charge-back on my cc for that work. After all that, I will write appropriate reviews accordingly, sticking to facts.
Its on file at the BI's office.
Liability insurance will pay for property damage or injuries sustained either during the work or afterwards if caused by the [shoddy] work. For example: Staging or a ladder falls during construction injuring someone or damaging the property. Shoddy electrical work causes a fire six months later, damages the home/injures someone. Deck collapses due to faulty construction (may cause injuries, may not). Pipes not insulated properly freeze and cause water damage. Stuff like that. It generally will not cover shoddy work itself unless there's actual damage to the property or causes injuries. If that helps.
OP here..
There is damage to their walls, damage to the woodwork/framing etc...Got more info from nephew..
Work was done in Lynn, contractor is from Newton... Should they call both Newton and Lynn (which is actually a good town to deal with, surprisingly.. Good responses, easy to reach town officials, friendly etc)? Call state/Ashburton place licensing/etc?
 

grey

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OP here..
There is damage to their walls, damage to the woodwork/framing etc...Got more info from nephew..
Work was done in Lynn, contractor is from Newton... Should they call both Newton and Lynn (which is actually a good town to deal with, surprisingly.. Good responses, easy to reach town officials, friendly etc)? Call state/Ashburton place licensing/etc?
Call lynn BI to let them know of the potential problem and dept of public safety. File complaints with both the HIC and CSL licenses/permits as stated previously

I have a suspicion there's no permit involved. They are officially on their own if that's the case. The state specifically warns homeowners of this
 

GlockJock

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Call lynn BI to let them know of the potential problem and dept of public safety. File complaints with both the HIC and CSL licenses/permits as stated previously
I have a suspicion there's no permit involved. They are officially on their own if that's the case. The state specifically warns homeowners of this
City of Lynn says no permit was pulled. Can nephew pursue that as fraud, etc? Can they go after his licenses (he is licensed) etc etc?... Really getting more pissed the more I see and hear.. Retired inspector /neighbor of theirs in Lynn told them its some of the worst work he's seen in years and would have wanted to punch the contractors lights out.
God, these poor people (nephew and wife) trusted their mortgage broker to provide a reference for a contractor (as mentioned earlier in thread, and look where that trust has gotten them. And they're great human beings too, not jerks, and this "contractor" clearly screwed them over...
They apparently assumed that since he was "properly licensed" that he had done the proper thing legally (permits) etc and think they've been fraud victims now.
This is a mess and a half.
 
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RumRunner

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Did contractor charge them for a permit and not pull it? If not, they are probably out of luck with the city helping. Not sure if it's different by city, but I believe homeowner is responsible for the permit, unless it's something that a homeowner can't legally get such as plumbing, gas, etc. But generally the contractor pulls the permit, but if they don't it's not an excuse for the homeowner not to make sure there is one.
 

drgrant

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City of Lynn says no permit was pulled. Can nephew pursue that as fraud, etc? Can they go after his licenses (he is licensed) etc etc?... Really getting more pissed the more I see and hear.. Retired inspector /neighbor of theirs in Lynn told them its some of the worst work he's seen in years and would have wanted to punch the contractors lights out.
I would be very surprised if there is a license, lmao.

-Mike
 

grey

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OP - what's the total number of windows and whatever else was done? If the repairs are under a couple grand, persuing legal action may be a waste of time
 

RumRunner

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I would be very surprised if there is a license, lmao.

-Mike

Me too, from the sounds of the posts this guy is a handyman type that does window replacements. He probably doesn't even have a HIC license, which means there is no way he pulled a permit. Was there a permit taped to the window while this guy was doing the work? Does the new contractor fixing the issues have a permit? He would be able to tell you if an initial one was pulled when he went to get one.
 

Buck F

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OP here..
There is damage to their walls, damage to the woodwork/framing etc...Got more info from nephew..
Work was done in Lynn, contractor is from Newton... Should they call both Newton and Lynn (which is actually a good town to deal with, surprisingly.. Good responses, easy to reach town officials, friendly etc)? Call state/Ashburton place licensing/etc?
Sounds like your nephew didn't get an insurance certificate & without it it'll be very difficult to track down the guy's insurance carrier to submit a claim. Based on everything else you have said I'm guessing the guy doesn't have insurance anyway. Others have suggested licensing boards, perhaps the AG's office of Consumer Affairs can help. Good luck.
 

GlockJock

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Me too, from the sounds of the posts this guy is a handyman type that does window replacements. He probably doesn't even have a HIC license, which means there is no way he pulled a permit. Was there a permit taped to the window while this guy was doing the work? Does the new contractor fixing the issues have a permit? He would be able to tell you if an initial one was pulled when he went to get one.
He does have his licenses...(I checked just now, and wish my nephew had asked me - and the folks here at NES - before letting the contractor start his "work")....Contractor has an active/valid HIC number, a CS number, an OSHA Certificate, a Federal Employer ID number...etc etc etc...which also brings up the question: Can someone like this be in license jeopardy for doing work without permit(s)?
 
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grey

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I

He does have his licenses...(I checked just now, and wish my nephew had asked me - and the folks here at NES - before letting the contractor start his "work")....Contractor has an active/valid HIC number, a CS number, an OSHA Certificate, a Federal Employer ID number...etc etc etc...which also brings up the question: Can someone like this be in license jeopardy for doing work without permit(s)?
Yes his license is in jeopardy. Reason - because he should know better
 

GlockJock

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OP - what's the total number of windows and whatever else was done? If the repairs are under a couple grand, persuing legal action may be a waste of time
Seventeen windows , plus the sliders to their deck (he also messed that up brutally)...you're undoubtedly talking about several thousand bucks in repairs, I'm guessing...
 

RumRunner

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He does have his licenses...(I checked just now, and wish my nephew had asked me - and the folks here at NES - before letting the contractor start his "work")....Contractor has an active/valid HIC number, a CS number, an OSHA Certificate, a Federal Employer ID number...etc etc etc...which also brings up the question: Can someone like this be in license jeopardy for doing work without permit(s)?
Well that is good news, at least they have some way to try and cause the guy some grief. As already mentioned they will most likely never get any money back, but at least they might get some satisfaction that it may cost the bad contractor or what he did (or didn't do). At this point, make sure they do what others have said about reporting him to the right places. Not much else to do though. Hopefully the new contractor can make things right for them, and he has pulled the correct permits. Also talk to the new contractor, guys that do it right really hate the bad ones. Maybe the new contractor will help with reporting the guy and making a stink about him at the BI office.
 

one-eyed Jack

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My only experience is with all kinds of contractors doing work on the commercial buildings in the empire that I manage. What happens is that the contractor's agent sends me a copy of the ins cert naming the building as "additionly insured" for property and liability. I also need to sign off on the permit and plans if needed. But, I know nothing about residential. Jack.
 

Asaltweapon

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When I hire a contractor not known to me, I go to the bldg dep't and they can tell me of any prior complaints against the contractor. Jack.
The building department is not an enemy. Some BI's can be Nazi like and the title of being the boss goes to their heads just like some new cops.

A good department is a ton of resources. Some of these guys like chasing bad contractors. Some of the stories are very comical about how they are always trying to hide shit. My buddy made a GC remove all the sheetrock for failure to get proper inspections the second time after a warning.
 

GlockJock

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Nephew once worked for company who did work with (among others) WBZ, WHDH as well as several other media outlets. I'm wondering if he should use those connections as sort of a "bargaining chip" against the contractor, sort of a "Look, if you blow me off and/or ignore demand for payment, you may end up as "That company" that's been all over the news etc etc... Hey, we've all seen the news and "Dateline" type shows with horror stories, the media acting as a warning tool for potential scam-ees (if that's a word for "potential victims) etc... Just a thought, cuz most people like this guy who lives in a nice quiet well to do area and is from around here, family, etc probably doesn't need to be the subject of a "Coming up next at 6 - a local family now dealing with a horror show home improvement company and..." (etc)..

Y'know?
 

GlockJock

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The building department is not an enemy. Some BI's can be Nazi like and the title of being the boss goes to their heads just like some new cops.

A good department is a ton of resources. Some of these guys like chasing bad contractors. Some of the stories are very comical about how they are always trying to hide shit. My buddy made a GC remove all the sheetrock for failure to get proper inspections the second time after a warning.
Does a building inspector deal with the interior butcher job that a contractor like this one did? Or only the exterior stuff (which are clearly butchered also)...
 
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