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  1. #1

    Default Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: CA

    I live in an hoa. Limited by the number qualified vendors we can use.

    I hired a plumber to replace a leaky showerhead
    Long story short. They billed me for 1.5 hr of labor at 140 an HR then another 150 for the part. (Cartridge)
    The most expensive cartridge of the same brand sold at home depot's was 60.

    They did not disclose the price of the part. I should have asked. I was told the part price includes a mark up and they had to go acquire it themselves and that they didn't bill me for that time.

    When I told the laborer's mgr over the phone that there was now that I was paying 150 for this plastic cartridge the guy cussed at me and told his guy to leave. (They came this morning but got into an argument due to the fact they couldn't find the common water shut off and he agreed to leave without charging me)
    He refused to send a breakdown of an invoice and listed the total amount labor + part. Claims he quoted me both which is false and threatens to put mechanical lien on my property.

    What are my rights? I offered to pay for the labor 140x1.5 plus 100 for the part and another 10 for the booking fee that was disclosed disclosed time of booking. Total of $320 vs 365 of his total bill.

    What are my rights. What's the due process or they can put a hold without due process?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,152

    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    You don't have any rights. You had the plumber do the work, you pay his bill. You didn't ask about the cost. That's on you. You don't get to argue price after it's done.

    And, yes, he can file a mechanic's lien on your home but there is probably something in the statute that says he has to perfect it with a lawsuit within a certain amount of time or it's no longer effective.

    I recently called a plumber for a price on replacing the gate valve on the water line leading into the house. He told me $250.00 without hesitating. I said no thanks. I already know that the part is less than $20 so I'll be shopping around for somebody who is more reasonable about the cost.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    Quote Quoting appleapple111
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    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: CA

    I live in an hoa. Limited by the number qualified vendors we can use.

    I hired a plumber to replace a leaky showerhead
    Long story short. They billed me for 1.5 hr of labor at 140 an HR then another 150 for the part. (Cartridge)
    The most expensive cartridge of the same brand sold at home depot's was 60.

    They did not disclose the price of the part. I should have asked. I was told the part price includes a mark up and they had to go acquire it themselves and that they didn't bill me for that time.

    When I told the laborer's mgr over the phone that there was now that I was paying 150 for this plastic cartridge the guy cussed at me and told his guy to leave. (They came this morning but got into an argument due to the fact they couldn't find the common water shut off and he agreed to leave without charging me)
    He refused to send a breakdown of an invoice and listed the total amount labor + part. Claims he quoted me both which is false and threatens to put mechanical lien on my property.

    What are my rights? I offered to pay for the labor 140x1.5 plus 100 for the part and another 10 for the booking fee that was disclosed disclosed time of booking. Total of $320 vs 365 of his total bill.

    What are my rights. What's the due process or they can put a hold without due process?
    California doesn't not appear to require a written estimate or contract for work valued under $750 so it would've been incumbent upon you to request that estimated cost.

    What is this cartridge that cost $150? It's typical for parts to be marked up. This generally covers the cost of acquiring parts, billing for the material etc. Time generally isn't charged. Generally.

    The work was performed so you owe for it. On the invoice you were told what the parts cost and what the labor cost. You are entitled to nothing more.

    Your description of haggling after the work was performed is why I don't do residential service. You are the person who makes the service tradesperson's life a living hell. Next time you take care of your own work!
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    596

    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    Quote Quoting appleapple111
    View Post
    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: CA

    I live in an hoa. Limited by the number qualified vendors we can use.

    I hired a plumber to replace a leaky showerhead
    Long story short. They billed me for 1.5 hr of labor at 140 an HR then another 150 for the part. (Cartridge)
    The most expensive cartridge of the same brand sold at home depot's was 60.

    They did not disclose the price of the part. I should have asked. I was told the part price includes a mark up and they had to go acquire it themselves and that they didn't bill me for that time.

    When I told the laborer's mgr over the phone that there was now that I was paying 150 for this plastic cartridge the guy cussed at me and told his guy to leave. (They came this morning but got into an argument due to the fact they couldn't find the common water shut off and he agreed to leave without charging me)
    He refused to send a breakdown of an invoice and listed the total amount labor + part. Claims he quoted me both which is false and threatens to put mechanical lien on my property.

    What are my rights? I offered to pay for the labor 140x1.5 plus 100 for the part and another 10 for the booking fee that was disclosed disclosed time of booking. Total of $320 vs 365 of his total bill.

    What are my rights. What's the due process or they can put a hold without due process?
    If you have a boss, do you know what his gross mark-up on your time is?

    A plumber does not make the $140/hr, nor does his boss drive a Lamborghini. The plumber has a truck with about $10k worth of tools in it. He has worker's comp, liability insurance, down time, travel time, office personnel, likely brick & mortar building costs, health insurance paid for by the company or even higher rates for self-insured and the truck itself. He also has to warranty the work which is a lot of liability.

    Not until a person runs a construction company can they squawk about the prices charged.

    Jack, I suggest buying yourself some map gas and doing it yourself. You might save $50. But I would have thought that your defeatist attitude would have compelled you to just write the check. Guess that advice is for others, not you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,994

    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    Quote Quoting appleapple111
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    What are my rights? I offered to pay for the labor 140x1.5 plus 100 for the part and another 10 for the booking fee that was disclosed disclosed time of booking. Total of $320 vs 365 of his total bill.

    What are my rights. What's the due process or they can put a hold without due process?
    The difference between what you are willing to pay and what the bill is only $45.00. That isn't enough to get a reasonable meal out. If you want to complicate your life with a lien being placed on your property that is your choice. A foolish choice if you ask me.

    A plumber can place a lien on your property for a recording cost of between $95 and $125 depending on the county where it is recorded. They have 90 or 60 days to file the notice depending on if there was a prior notice of lien when they came to do the work. I doubt it. And I doubt that a plumber would file a lien for the difference of $45.00. That means he will lose money on job just by filing.

    Then the plumber has to file a foreclosure lawsuit (within 90 days of the recording) to get his money ($365.00 or $45.00) depending on how this plays out. That would cost thousands to file. So the likelihood of a foreclosure on the lien is remote.

    However, with a recorded lien on your property, you can't sell it and you cannot refinance it or borrow against it.

    So ask yourself if all the trouble is worth $45.00. And BTW, the mechanic's lien process does afford you due process. You can Google it in CA and learn all about it.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...6.&lawCode=CIV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,572

    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    Quote Quoting appleapple111
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    I hired a plumber to replace a leaky showerhead
    Long story short. They billed me for 1.5 hr of labor at 140 an HR then another 150 for the part. (Cartridge)
    The most expensive cartridge of the same brand sold at home depot's was 60.
    Not that it helps you in this instance, but replacing a shower head is something anyone ought to be able to do.

    That said, is this plumber a licensed contractor? Did you agree to these charges by way of a written contractor prior to the services being performed?


    Quote Quoting appleapple111
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    They did not disclose the price of the part.
    So...you were told it would cost $140 per hour "plus parts" (or something like that)?


    Quote Quoting appleapple111
    View Post
    What are my rights?
    Like everyone else (and completely contrary to the false information provided in the first response by "adjusterjack"), you have dozens of legal rights, and it would serve no useful purpose to try and create a list of rights. Even if I limit this statement to rights that are relevant to the present situation, you have several legal rights.


    Quote Quoting appleapple111
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    What's the due process or they can put a hold without due process?
    I'm not really sure what this question means, and your post doesn't clearly describe what work was actually performed. The extent to which you are obligated to the plumber depends on what work he performed and the terms of your written agreement.

    With respect to a mechanic's lien, a contractor or material supplier is entitled to record a mechanic's lien if he performs work or provides material that is incorporated into a work of improvement at the behest of the owner of the property or is a subcontractor or supplier to such a person. Simply replacing a shower head would not typically entitle a person to record a lien. Perhaps more importantly, if a claimant records a lien, the claimant has 90 days to file a lawsuit to enforce the lien. If the claimant fails to do that, the lien becomes unenforceable and must be removed at the request of the owner. If the claimant fails to remove a stale lien, the owner may sue the claimant to have the lien removed, and the claimant will be statutorily liable to the owner for attorneys' fees in connection with that proceeding. A suit to enforce a mechanic's lien cannot be filed in small claims court, which means it will cost the claimant $370 just to file the lawsuit. Do you suppose this plumber will do that over a $360 bill? I can tell you from experience that virtually no lien claimant will do that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    596

    Default Re: Mechanics Lien on Property from Contractor

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Not that it helps you in this instance, but replacing a shower head is something anyone ought to be able to do.
    Changing a shower head is not the solution for a leaking shower head.

    That said, is this plumber a licensed contractor? Did you agree to these charges by way of a written contractor prior to the services being performed?
    A written contract is not required in CA.

    So...you were told it would cost $140 per hour "plus parts" (or something like that)?
    A written or oral quote is not required either. Only a fair and reasonable charge is required after the work is performed. Which is the case here.

    Like everyone else (and completely contrary to the false information provided in the first response by "adjusterjack"), you have dozens of legal rights, and it would serve no useful purpose to try and create a list of rights. Even if I limit this statement to rights that are relevant to the present situation, you have several legal rights.
    Seems you had time but you failed to cite even the top two. Care to do that now because I'd like to know how you could avoid the charges in court.

    I'm not really sure what this question means, and your post doesn't clearly describe what work was actually performed. The extent to which you are obligated to the plumber depends on what work he performed and the terms of your written agreement.
    As said, no written contract required and he already described the work performed. He either changed out the cartridge or sweat in a new valve. If a new valve, it should have been more.

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