I hired a electrian to up grade the electric at a warehouse I own.I paid him in full he had told me he had paid for materials his contract was about $

Asked by Doug Lewis, Montgomery, TX Sun Mar 27, 2011

$12,500 .So about 2 months after the job was complete i recieved a letter stating the Electrical supplier had filed a lien on my property because the electrician did not pay them.I did not know he had not paid for material and I didn't know where he had bought it .So if they gave him the credit why would I have to be responsible for there bad judgment in giving him credit?If i had known there was a problem then I could have contacted them to make sure they were paid.But I didn't have any knowledge on the problem.What can I do? Thanks Doug

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Seda Hambarc…, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Mar 27, 2011
My husband is a Contractor and this is his question... How can the Electrical supplier prove that the material that the electrician purchased from them he used on your warehouse?
1 vote
Larry Stovall, Agent, Cypress, TX
Sun Mar 27, 2011

You might want to consult an attorney about this. I am just wondering what
makes this supplier so sure that their materials were used on your project.

Good luck,
1 vote
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Mon Mar 28, 2011
Consult with an attorney laws vary greatly from state to state. With most of my subs I buy the material direct, many of my builder friends have been burned & had to buy roofs, concrete ect.. twice. Make the supplier prove the material was used on your site this may be your only hope. Good Luck
0 votes
Ledell Johns…, , Houston, TX
Mon Mar 28, 2011
Find yourself an attorney for this one, check with the Houston Bar Assoc. or Harris county Bar. They have a free service for consumer questions like this.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Mar 28, 2011
Best confer your questions to an attorney

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Kathleen Ham…, , Houston, TX
Mon Mar 28, 2011
Mr. Lewis,
I am sorry to hear you are having this problem. You have valid questions. What is the answer from the contractor? Best thing to do is speak with your attorney. If you don't have one you can use a legal service for a consultation sometimes.

Here is the number-- Lawyer referral (713) 237-9429 and for a small fee they will do a short consultation. It may or may not help but I hope it does you some good.

If you have any real estate questions then call me and Good Luck. Very truly yours, Kathleen (281) 799-4002
0 votes
Krystal Vill…, Agent, Houston, TX
Mon Mar 28, 2011
You need to consult an attorney, Doug. Most real estate agents are not qualified to answer this question. I wish I could offer you more advice. Good luck to you, and have a good week.


Brandon Newton
Green Dawn Realty
Office 281.894.5500
Cell 713.890.9108
0 votes
Lilly Hughes, Agent, Humble, TX
Mon Mar 28, 2011
I don't believe there is no guaranteed way unless you contract with the electrician in sime way that you pay for the parts directly because I know of someone who built a custom home. Used the GHBA contract, went through the title company, etc. The builder did not pay all of the contractorss. One of the contractors placed a MM lien on the property. The title company didn't cover it because they didn't dispense the draws because the lender wanted to dispensed the draws. Contractor knew it was her house because she selected the items at the contractor's showroom and they were delivered to her address; Tried to resolve through BBB but builder filed for bankruptcy before mediation.

All done through "reputable" builder with gold star rating at BBB. There are just no guarantees unless you pay yourself.
0 votes
Kirsten Wall…, Agent, Meridian, ID
Sun Mar 27, 2011
One of the biggest problems with hiring a contractor is ensuring he or she is actually paying for supplies and labor with the money you pay. Even if you have the contractor sign a lien waiver or release, there is no guarantee or way to check if people he hired or purchased from were paid. Suppliers provide credit, and generally ask which job the supplies are for. That way, if the supplier is not paid, they know which property to lien. The only way you, as the homeowner, can verify the materials were for your job is to ask to see the invoices. However, to solve your problem, you have three options....don't pay, and sue the electrician. The risk there is that a lien generally gives the supplier the right to foreclose. Option two is to pay the supplier, and sue the electrician. Or option three, do nothing, and hope the amount of the lien is not something the supplier would pay to have a foreclosure action started. Problem there is that if the supplier is owed a lot of money by the electrician, on other jobs, it may be worth it to foreclose.
Since lien laws differ in every state, you will want to talk to an attorney to discuss your options. But I respectfully disagree with the suggestions above. Even if you ask for a holdback AND have the contractor sign a lien release or waiver, it still is as worthless as the piece of paper signed....nothing prevents the contractor from lying and telling you he's paid everyone, and the lien release signed by the contractor does not prevent third parties whom he hasn't paid from filing a lien. The best way to protect yourself is to ensure the contractor you hire is reputable by asking for references from both clients and major suppliers.
0 votes
David Kelly, , Houston, TX
Sun Mar 27, 2011
did you gave a ciontract with elketurician stating he was supplying the labor and mateiral for XX amounts of dollars? Lesson learned,,,it sucks...I am sorry to hear about your deliemana http://www.goldenvault.com...when dealing with ind contractors you have to supply everything in writing or resort to small claims cours which is an inveastement of $150.00 +
Web Reference:  http://www.goldnvault.com
0 votes
Brenda Jones, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Mar 27, 2011
Get an attorney. Unfortunately, it's become necessary for property owners to have contractors sign releases signifying all materials have been paid in full prior to getting paid their final draw. I always have an agreed upon ' hold back' amount at contract signing for punch-out items and materials releases. If a contractor balks at such an agreement for a 'hold-back', you haven't found the right contractor.

My best wishes to you!

Real Estate Brenda
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Sun Mar 27, 2011
Doug, I would recommend contacting the contractor to find out what is going on and if you don't have a desirable result consult with an attorney. This is very unfortunate. I hope it works out okay for you.
Web Reference:  http://teamlefebvre.net
0 votes
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