Saint Louis, MO asked in Construction Law for North Carolina

Q: If you were remodeling a home and paid money, can the owner hold your tools if she is unhappy and wants her money back

I was paid portial money upfront to do a remodeling job but the homeowner and I have a disagreement and now she is holding my tools until I return her the money she's paid me as a deposit

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paige Kurtz
Paige Kurtz
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Technically no, there is no right to retain your property without an agreement to do so. If you just need to recover the tools, you can file a small claims action to recover the property. If you are still owed money on the contract, you likely could also handle that in small claims. Of course, the owner will be able to assert her defenses to your contract work. Nonetheless, even if you did work that would justify some type of damages for the owner (i.e. a refund), if you are only seeking to recover your property, the court would have to give it back to you. The court can only offset her damages against any money you claim is owed. If you are not claiming any additional monies from the owner, just go to small claims to get the property returned.

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