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In what instances may I breach my agreement with my contractor?

Your roof started leaking during a recent downpour, so you called a roofing company out to give you an estimate for a new one. When your salesperson comes out, he explains that the damage is far too extensive to simply patch it up. What's more, both your fascia and soffit have rotted away and need to be replaced.

He provides you with an estimate for the work. He then tells you that his company requires you to put at least 50 percent down so that materials can be purchased and so that subcontractors can be scheduled.

Work is slated to get underway within four weeks. Eight weeks later after placing a deposit, work still hasn't begun. You've made several calls to the contractor without any response. The three-day rescission period that all legal agreements must contain under regulations set by the Federal Trade Commission has passed. You wonder what recourse you may have to free yourself from the contract and recover your funds being held in limbo.

Fortunately, the above-referenced scenario captures one of several instances in which you may be able to lawfully break, or breach, a contract with your contractor. As a result, you also may be able to recover your funds.

In some jurisdictions, there exist laws that may allow you to seek a termination of a contract during the post-rescission period because of a "failure to perform". In this case, if you as the homeowner, can show that you that your contractor agreed to complete the work within a specified period of time, but didn't do that, then you may be entitled to sue them.

As for another situation in which you may be entitled breach an agreement with a contractor, you may be able to do so if the contract you were asked to sign did not meet Florida standards. Also, if either your contractor or sales person wasn't licensed, despite claiming they were, then you may be able to pull out of the contract without penalty.

If your contractor has failed to perform work at an anticipated level or on time, then you may wish to discuss different legal remedies you're eligible to pursue with a Melbourne, Florida, construction litigation attorney.

Source: ProRemodeler, "In breach of contract," Jim Cory, accessed Dec. 27, 2017

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