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The contractors (who took off) are asking for more $$ for work not done, and to cover the HST they say they did not charge me

Kris N. had her contractors take off in the middle of her renovation, never to return, it seems. Well, they are back, asking for money for work she says they didn't do, for HST they said they "forgot" to charge her, and to place a lien on her house.


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February 21, 2014 by Steve Payne

Six weeks ago, we published a post from a homeowner, Kris N, whose contractor had taken off on her, leaving her house virtually uninhabitable. Kris’s small child had to go live elsewhere. A number of Canadian Contractor readers sent kind and helpful messages to Kris, some offering to help. Here’s a recent update from Kris:

“Just to update how things are going with my house… My daughter and I are still out of the house and apart – the house has not been touched since December and I am trying to find builder’s risk insurance to cover the house… The contractors (who took off) are asking for more $$ for work not done and to cover the HST they say that they did not charge me and are wanting to place a lien on the house. I am now seeing a lawyer about this situation and to try and stop the demands for more money from these people. This is all very frustrating, but I understand that this normally would not happen, especially to this extent. I thank everyone for their offers and suggestions and will look into those options once this gets sorted out. I do not want any further trouble happening once I start work on the house again… One day at a time… Thanks, Kris.”


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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2 Comments » for The contractors (who took off) are asking for more $$ for work not done, and to cover the HST they say they did not charge me
  1. Ted Krechowicz says:

    Not sure if it is a contractor or homeowner issue. As always there are two stories to every issue. Is the contractor incompetent, or is the house owner negligent in their contractor choice? I would need to see the owners contract from the contractor to make an opinion. Most homeowners tend to choose the lowest price, so they seem to get the handyman to do the job. If you view the Mike Holmes shows, most homeowners do not do their due diligence for major projects. Note that 25% of contractors go out of business every year.

  2. Wayne Bouck says:

    When a homeowner hears the word ‘lien’ , most are frightened, but they really shouldn’t be. The Construction Lien Act is one of the most ineffective legislations we have. In my 24 years in business I have never placed one, but this is how I interpret the Act:

    – the cost of the Lien is up to the contractor (he can’t charge the homeowner for it).
    – the contractor cannot include interest in his Lien amount.
    – a Lien does not stop you from renewing your mortgage with your existing lender.
    – the process can be tied up in the Courts for months.
    – if there is a Lien, it does not stop another contractor from completing the job.
    – the homeowner has the option to pay out the amount of the Lien and the money held in trust by the Courts, while a civil battle ensues, thereby allowing the property to be sold.