January 27, 2021

My Contractor Abandoned My Project, What Now?

Have you excitedly contracted with a Contractor to build your dream kitchen, only to have them disappear after receiving a down payment or completing minimal work? Unfortunately, this situation occurs all too often. Fortunately, there are laws within the state of Florida designed to protect homeowners from the wrongful acts of Florida Contractors. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the steps necessary to recover your down payment, any damages you may have incurred due to the Contractor’s wrongful actions, and your legal fees. It is critical that the appropriate notices be sent to the Contractor before any legal action is taken against the Contractor. 

Florida Statute 489.126(2)(a) requires that a contractor who receives, as initial payment, money totaling more than 10 percent of the contract price for repair, restoration, improvement, or construction to residential real property must:

1. Apply for permits necessary to do work within 30 days after the date payment is made, except where the work does not require a permit under the applicable codes and ordinances, and

2. Start the work within 90 days after the date all necessary permits for work, if any, are issued. 

Should the Contractor fail to do the above, the homeowner must make written demand to the contractor in the form of a letter, delivered pursuant to the above mentioned statutes requirements, demanding that the appropriate permits be obtained, to start the work, or to refund the payment that has been made. Should the contractor fail to address your demand within 30 days of receiving your letter, it is assumed that the contractor’s actions are not justified, and as such, you are likely entitled to relief.

Similarly, if a Contractor has abandoned your project for more than 90 days and has received monies in excess of the value of the work performed, or simply has not been to the project site in over 90 days, you may be entitled to relief. However, similar notice requirements to the ones described above are required prior to filing a lawsuit. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can help guide you through the steps necessary to ensure that you are made whole again should you experience an issue with your Contractor.

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Michele Green

Head of Legal, MGT Insurance
[ Orlando, FL]
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Daniel Bronson

CEO, Capitol Insurers
[ Lake Mary, FL]
+1 (386) 218-6155
1801 S Volusia Ave, Orange City, FL 32763
83 Ash Dr. Orlando, Florida 32812 U.S.A.