St Louis, MO asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Missouri

Q: Roofing contractor signs contract & accepts $9000 down payment for job. He uses money for himself

doesn’t replace it & doesn’t order roofing materials as promised. Isn’t contract breached at this point?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ronald J. Eisenberg
PREMIUM
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Answered
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: He breaches the contract if he doesn’t honor its terms. For example, if there is a May 1 deadline for him to finish the roof and that date hasn’t yet arrived, then unless he has told you that he won’t perform he hasn’t breached the contract.

Robert Grant Pennell agrees with this answer

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
Answered
  • Manchester, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: As always, Mr. Eisenberg is correct.

A contract breach occurs when one party fails to perform (or whose performance deviates from) what was contracted. A common problem for contracting homeowners is the absence of required terms in the contract. To piggyback on Mr. Eisenberg’s example, even if the contract includes a May 1 completion date, under contract law the failure to meet that date isn’t necessarily a breach if the contract didn’t state that “time is of the essence.” Unless the amount is minimal, it’s always best to have such a contract reviewed by your attorney before signing.

This question sounds like a question recently asked with more details which I already answered. If this is the same situation, I encourage you to refer to the more complete response previously given.

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