Legal Blog

Florida Contractor Disputes Involving Unreasonable Deposits

The Boatman Law Firm, P.A. has represented numerous clients who are involved in Florida contractor disputes and Florida construction disputes.  Often times, the dispute has arisen because the client agreed to pay the contractor a thirty, forty or even fifty percent deposit before the contractor even set foot on their property to complete any of the contemplated work, and ultimately, the contractor either abandoned the job, or did not attempt to complete the job in a timely manner while retaining the deposit funds.

As a consumer in Florida, you do not need to provide a contractor with such a large deposit, and if you do, Florida law requires that Florida contractors follow certain conditions when accepting such a large deposit.

Florida Statute § 489.126 provides in pertinent part that, “[a] contractor who receives, as initial payment, money totaling more than 10 percent of the contract price for repair, restoration, improvement, or construction to a residential real property must”

  • Apply for permits necessary to do work within 30 days after the date payment is made, except where the work does not require a permit under the applicable codes and ordinances, and
  • Start the work within 90 days after the date all necessary permits for work, if any, are issues.

Section 489.126 further provides in subsection (4) that “[a]ny person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of theft and shall be prosecuted and punished under s. 812.014.”

According to Florida Statute § 486.126, if a contractor accepts more than a ten percent down payment, he must apply for permits within thirty days after the date payment is made, and start the work within 90 days after all necessary permits are issued.  Therefore, if you pay a Florida contractor more than 10 percent as a deposit, he/she must abide to a certain timeline in completing the work contemplated.  If the Florida contractor does not abide to that timeline, he may be found guilty of theft pursuant to the statute.

The Boatman Law Firm, P.A. has helped numerous clients involved in Florida construction disputes and Florida contractor disputes.  If you are involved in a one of these disputes, please contact the Boatman Law Firm, P.A. for a consultation.

 

Ernest A. Ricci, Esq.

The Boatman Law Firm, P.A.

Ear@boatman-law.com

239-330-1494 Ext. 204

 

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