Home Selling in Los Angeles>Question Details

juan2228, Other/Just Looking in Los Angeles, CA

I, as Electrical contractor did some work for a realtor that didn't pay me even after all inspections passed. What can I do since I didn't?

Asked by juan2228, Los Angeles, CA Wed Feb 6, 2013

get paid . even I took Him to Small claims and I could not collect since He does not have property under his name,

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Jeri Creson’s answer
You, if you are a licensed contractor, need to file mechanic's liens on properties you work on. This provides legal remedy and also puts the owner of the property on notice in case the owner was not involved, and the agent was not, actually, authorized to have you do anything whatsoever to the home…bottom line, the underlying owner becomes liable for work done to the property in such a case. If you didn't file a mechanics lien on this one - please, please do so in the future. Keep the honest guys honest. Get paid for your work.

And go after the agent where it hurts - the commission - if possible. Contacting the owner of the property (even if you failed to file your mechanic's lien in time) may be helpful. If the work was NOT authorized, and the agent put the owner of the property in jeopardy, there may be some leverage there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2013
You have no way to get paid except to hound the guy. You did not work for property owner, that was your first mistake!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
You can always contact their broker, secondly you can file a complaint with DRE-Department of Real Estate.

Also, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney.

Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2013
Hopefully you got your question answered, but there are a lot of electrical contractors out there who are still able to get things done and don't have this kind of problem. Hopefully all is well
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
You cannot lien the property unless you filed a 20 day preliminary, the new lien laws are stringent it will cost you more to remove an invalid lien than to file it.

Go to his broker and file a complaint with the DRE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
Hello Juan2228, Speak with his office owner/Broker as the broker can withhold the amount you have won a judgement for from any coming commissions he may have. A lis pendens is also an alternative if the home you did the work on didn't fund yet. This would put a cloud on title that would have to be addressed to be able to close. You can also go the California Department of Real Estate http://www.dre.ca.gov. They may be able to suspend his license until he pays you.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
Dear Juan,

Small claims is one of the few ways you can try to get paid in such circumstances.It might be possible to file a small claim against the New Owner of the house where you did the work since the court says they are responsible.
If the Realtor actually hired you to do the work a report can be filed with the Department of Real Estate at http://www.dre.ca.gov.
I am hoping you have an electricians license in which case you can file a lien against the property if nothing else works for you.
One more thought that might help, http://www.lafla.org This is the website for Legal Aid. I would try talking to a lawyer. Sometimes a short conversation with an attorney will get you a QUICK answer to your problem.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
Hi Juan,

As Douglas Perez wrote, if you are licensed, record a Mechanics Lien. Hopefully the sale has not closed.

And, even if the sale has closed, report the agent to the DRE.CA.GOV, and to the realtor.com (click on Find An Agent, to check that he is a realtor.

Best of luck.
Web Reference: http://www.douglaslagos.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
Hey Juan,

If you are a licensed electrician or contractor, you can record a Mechanics lien and start foreclosing the property where you performed the job.

Get an attorney for this legal proceeding.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
Hi juan2228, consult a real estate attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
Wait a minute here, why did you do work for a realtor? You mean while the property was listed? Why wouldn't you deal directly with the OWNER of the property? Isnt that how contractors work? I feel bad that you lost money and believe me I have run into a few agents who really shoud not be holding a license! But I'm sorry I think this is on you. Lesson learned to make sure and know who is going to be paying you before you do the work and get everything documented.
Listen even if the owner of the property was a lender or in escrow lets say for the sake of making a point here, if you had dealt with the right person you would not be out of money for your hard work.
As far as posting the name on a public site as suggested below.....well since we're not in elementary school this is a foolish idea. If you want to make a report against bad business conduct, there are the right channels to do so.

Good luck, I know you wont make this mistake again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
You could post the name of the agent and company on here and other sites.... you may not get your money back but at least other people would know what kind of person they are doing business with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
Find out whom you did the work for and go after them. If it was the seller and they have sold you could try suing THEM in small claims. If it is the new owner, then certainly take THEM to court. Sometimes you just have to let go because there is more aggravation and expense involved in going after people than letting it go. That said, If I were you I would not let it go. Sorry you are having to go through this.
Web Reference: http://www.homejane.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
You may be able to file a mechanics lien against the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
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