Q: Ohio Contract for home remodel. Client paid retainer fee to company that contracted but client decided to change plans
Plans kept changing totaling more than what was agreed and client failed to extend more payment for additional updates and provide a written change of order. Contract outlines that without written notice contractor can cancel. Client agreed to contract terms prior to start and now wants to sue the LLC for retainer fee. Their lawyer called contractor threatening with court. Is this more of a small claims judgement entry issue if not what is the process?
Work was done on phase one. But client kept changing order so contractor canceled**
A: The contractor being able to cancel without notice does not, by itself, mean that the contractor is not responsible to return the "retainer fee". The contract should provide under what circumstances the "retainer fee" can be kept, and under what circumstances the "retainer fee" must be returned. If there is no provision regarding the "retainer fee"; i.e. non-refundable, then the contractor would have to demonstrate how it earned the amount that it is attempting to retain.
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