Q: Cancelled contractor's contract and he is threatening me with breach of contract.
I fired a contractor and cancelled the contract because his work was shoddy, did not meet code and he was not performing. We paid a deposit of $850. The total contract is for $1,650. He only performed a very small part (removing existing stairs). He said I'm in breach and owe the balance of the contract. Can I sue in small claims court to get my deposit back (it was more than the work performed).
A: If the contract was terminated, the contractor is entitled to the reasonable value of his services. It is unlikely that the remaining balance due on the contract would be due to the contractor. Yes, you can file an action in small claims to recover the difference between what you paid and what the contractor performed. However, if you obtain an estimate to complete the work and the total contract is more than what you were going to pay this contractor, then you would be entitled to recover the difference.
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