New York, NY asked in Contracts, Small Claims and Consumer Law for New Jersey

Q: Hired contractor to renovate bathroom. Estimate stated “cost does not include glass shower door.” He recommended glass

Co and paid deposit NOT mentioning a non refundable deposit. 7 months and Glass guy did not install and contractor said I can cancel and asked me for the deposit. Glass guy is his sub. Glass guy said he would refund contractor, I have no contract with glass guy. Since refund didn’t happen, now contractor wants to sue me. Does he have cause against me?

1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard R. Boyer
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  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Although you listed this as a "Small Claims case", it may (or may not be much more than that). In NJ almost no home improvement contractor's contract ever complies with the contract requirements of the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Act, which will almost certainly violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, which provided for triple damages plus attorney's fees and costs. Although almost all attorneys will require a retainer and their regular hourly rate, these cases are very frequently won by the homeowner. During this pandemic, you have a choice of either seeing your attorney in person or by way of a secure state of the art Zoom Video Conference. So you don’t have to be restricted by geography any more in terms of choosing an attorney. You can “Meet” your attorney online for an initial strategy session from the comfort of your own home. Through mail, e-mail and electronic filing almost everything can be done without leaving your home, for most types of cases. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price.

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