How do you push a company to pay for construction work?
It’s an unfortunate truth in the construction industry that clients don’t always pay within a reasonable amount of time.
In fact, some clients might seemingly do their best not to pay you at all– even if you’ve provided excellent work, and even if you have an excellent contract specifying your requirements for payment.
No matter the client’s reasons for not paying the agreed-upon amount, not receiving payment certainly makes things more complicated for contractors. One of the many problems that might happen as a result of client nonpayment is a contractor’s subsequent inability to pay their subcontractors.
Why don’t clients pay on time for construction work?
Of course, a possible reason why a client might be unwilling to pay for construction work is dissatisfaction with the work that has been done.
The obvious solution to this problem is doing excellent quality work… but “excellent” is a subjective term, and a client’s vision of excellent work might differ in some way from the actual work performed.
Of course, a client’s dissatisfaction with the project might be the result of a miscommunication. This is why having an ironclad, highly specific contract right off the bat is important– it means that you and your client will be on the same page regarding what work will be done.
For example, a client might be dissatisfied with the work or believe it’s incomplete if an additional project hasn’t been completed– but if that additional work was not specified in the contract or agreed upon right off the bat, naturally the contractor wouldn’t have done it.
Another reason why a client might not pay for construction work is financial difficulty. While this is unfortunate, the contractor has the right to be paid for the work that they’ve done.
What options do contractors have if clients refuse to pay?
While independent contractors aren’t protected by the same laws that regular employees of a company are, you’re still entitled to payment just like a regular employee is.
If a client refuses to issue the agreed-upon payment, you are within your rights to file a claim against them.
In Arkansas, contractors are permitted to file a civil claim against clients who have failed to pay for services. As a contractor, you can also file for a mechanic’s lien, which is a method of ensuring payment.
If a mechanic’s lien has been filed, the client cannot sell the land or property without first resolving the lien. A mechanic’s lien is considered a high-priority form of debt, which is meant to motivate the client to pay as soon as possible.
What should I do if my client refuses to pay?
The first thing to do in this situation is to arrange a calm, face-to-face conversation with the client, if at all possible. You can discuss the specifics of your contract and get the client’s perspective on the issue of nonpayment– do they believe that the job hasn’t been completed properly?
If the issue cannot be resolved during this conversation, it’s time to seek legal counsel.
At Davidson Law Firm, we fiercely defend our clients– we’ll use our years of experience to make sure that you get every penny that’s owed to you for your hard work.