I heard from one of our coaching clients recently. He has an owner with a final payment due of $700, and the owner doesn’t want to pay it.
Now the owner won’t say that, just as your owners won’t tell you they don’t want to make the last payment on their job. They talk all the way around it.
“We don’t like how long the job took to do so we don’t think we owe you the final payment.”
“You didn’t control the (pick one) plumber, electrician, drywall installer, roofer we hired and he didn’t do a good job, so we don’t think we should pay you.”
“We don’t think we are going to pay you because you harassed us about signing your change work orders. It shouldn’t matter that we took over two months to sign and pay for the changes we made, that has nothing to do with this.”
“We are thinking about filing a claim against your company with the state contractor licensing board because you were late finishing the job, you constantly harassed us about signing the change order, etc, etc, etc.”
This comes down to the owner trying to beat you out of your final payment. Cover it with all the BS and HooRah you want, but that is what it boils down to.
Don’t go down this path. Explain to the owner during the sales process that they will receive a notice of intent to lien on the first day of the job and it will be released when final payment is made, explain that this is standard practice. Then do it. If they don’t pay on time, shut the job down and file the lien, just like it should say in your contract. If they won’t sign your change work order by the three day limit that should be put on every change that you present to them, then stay with the original contract and keep on trucking. If they finally get around to signing the change work order, tell them it is out of date, there will be more money needed because now you have to back up, do extra tear out, etc.
Protect yourself my friends. Trust me, if you don’t, no one else will. If you have any questions on how to handle this, give me a call.