Avoiding Dirty Contractors The right contractor can make or break your remodel. Whether you are updating your primary residence or rehabbing an investment property, it is of the utmost importance that you avoid dirty contractors at all costs. But how does one spot a dirty contractor? A contractor who tries to slyly alter the terms of the original contract is probably dirty. Any contractor who does half the work and then claims that the remainder was not included in the original contract is probably dirty. Another thing to watch out for is contractors who try to bring in other contractors without consulting you. Just because you enter into a contract with Contractor A does not mean that you have contracted with any subcontractors that this individual might choose to introduce into the equation. A bad contract can sidetrack or even derail your remodel project. This means lost time, which translates to lost money. To avoid dealing with contractors’ dirty tricks, always make sure that you hire only those contractors who are able to produce impeccable references from people you trust. No references? No deal. If a contractor refuses to present you with references that can attest to his or her experience and quality of work, then chances are this person has something to hide. Just as you always read product reviews before making a big purchase, you should always consult a contractor’s references and past projects before signing a contract. And even if a contractor’s references check out 100%, business is still business. So you are going to want to make sure that your contract is watertight. This means getting everything in writing up front. Don’t let a smiling face and charming demeanor catch you off your guard. Oral agreements are tough to prove in court (should your dispute get to that point), so you should always write up a good contract to protect your interests when working with any contractor. Learn more about avoiding dirty contractors by visitng Tonja Demoff’s informative real estate website. Renowned real estate investor, author, and speaker Tonja Demoff shares her wisdom on dirty contractors, false friends, the power of positive intentions, and more.
Often when we hear the phrase “protect your wealth” we think about our investment portfolio. However, there is more to protecting your wealth than just looking out for your investment portfolio. Protecting your wealth also means looking out for yourself. This is especially true if you are very successful. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, but your success can make others envious. And people who want the benefits of success without all the hard work are more than willing to try to take what’s yours.
Few people know this better than Tonja Demoff. Tonja’s great success as a real estate investor, author, and speaker drew the envy of others. These people were all too keen to try to take what Tonja had earned for themselves. Preying on Tonja’s trusting nature and desire to help others succeed, these unscrupulous business associates attempted to tear down the successful real estate investment business that Tonja had worked so hard to build.
Tonja’s case is not an isolated incident. Wherever there are successful people, the lazy hangers on will follow. Sometimes these people are quite adept at hiding their true colors. In fact, you may not even recognize what’s happening until it’s too late to stop them. That’s why you need to take every effort to protect your wealth and your success from the envious, lazy people who would seek to rob you of all that you’ve worked so hard to gain.
In her latest book, Twist & Trust: Finding Your Way When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn, Tonja Demoff shows you how to deal with life’s unexpected twists and turns with resilience, wisdom, and grace. Tonja can teach you how to project your intentions to achieve the success you’ve always dreamed of, even in the face of adversity. Armed with the right information, you will never fall victim to unscrupulous hangers on bent on stripping you of all that you’ve worked so hard to obtain.
I am writing this letter to put smiles on your face and restore your lost hope.
I am Mr. Femi Johnson, The Director, Accounts/ International Remittance Department of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Head office, Marina Lagos, Nigeria. and i want to reveal this secret to you, on why you have not received your fund, Please keep this information very secret, to save my job.
My Boss, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, the Managing Director/CEO of this bank, is now on compulsory leave and all powers has been vested on me, to make all international payments, Also, due to reported cases of corrupt practices and inefficient banking system of some Nigerian Banks, including the Central Bank of Nigeria. the World Bank and IMF have revoked/cancelled the powers vested on those banks and has appointed the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) to make all foreign payments.
Be informed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is not to be blamed over the non payment of your Contract/Inheritance payment sum of $10,000,000.00 USD (Ten Million United States Dollars), which was approved in your name, on the 15th July,2009, and deposited with this bank, on the 17th July, 2009, through the Federal Government of Nigeria consolidated oil reserve account.
The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), as the Africa’s global bank. Have been mandated to pay all foreign debts, owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, on Contracts/Inheritance Payments, Over-due Lottery Winning Payments and Compensation/Reimbursement Payments. Based on established Debt records on your name,verified by the combined DMO-DG’s teams, World Bank,UN and IMF. confirming authenticity of your Debt origination from Nigeria/West Africa. Hence, a payment resolution was reached, to pay such Debts.
The Federal Government have approved the release of your $10Million usd, which has been in this bank for over five years, unclaimed, simply because my boss (Mr. Phillips Oduoza) is collaborating with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and have refused to release this money to you, just because they have been using the interest accumulated from your inheritance payment, every year, to enrich themselves,without your knowledge.
However, My preliminary investigations revealed that some payment file and deposit accounts, belonging to some of the Beneficiaries has been tampered/changed, on the basis that the owners have died or have given out an authorization note of change of data. Further Investigations also revealed that there are some foreigners who are collaborating with them, to make these changes illegally,without the knowledge of the rightful Beneficiaries of these funds.
The fund has been legally cleared by the Federal High Court and the United Nations Financial Regulations Authority, which gives you the lawful right to claim the fund,as the legitimate beneficiary.
Therefore, I want to help you pull out this fund into your Bank account, by using the easiest and the quickest method, which have not been made known to you before. by this method, you will open a domiciliary account with this bank (UBA Bank), then, your fund would be lodged into this domiciliary account and transferred directly from the domiciliary account into any bank account of your choice, and after the transfer, you will confirm the fund in your bank account within 4hours, the same day. there is No Cost of Transfer (COT) and No stoppage from any Government departments, as the transfer will be done in my department and it is very safe.
Note: The transfer method which was introduced to you before, is the Telegraphic Transfer (TT), for which confirmation was 72hours or more, But because of the time factor, petitions could come from various organizations, stopping your payment and asking you to pay huge fee, which would be very difficult for you to pay, so that they can benefit from the huge interest, while your fund still in this Bank, unclaimed. this method is not safe for you, because the transfer is not done within the bank alone, as information of the payment would be sent to the Central Control Unit (CCU) of the Federal Ministry of Finance and office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
The Non Resident Domiciliary Account is an account designed to help you conveniently carry out foreign currency transactions from the comfort of your home or abroad, and the purpose of opening this Domiciliary Account is to secure and protect your fund, to give you a greater privacy and easy access to deposits, in terms of regulation and protection against financial instability. Another advantage of opening a Domiciliary account is that you can instruct our bank to transfer this fund into your nominated bank account in your country, bit by bit, with small amount, thereby saving yourself from the embarrassment of the Financial Authorities, who monitor large transfers, due to current trend of terrorism. and you can also retain the balance left in your Domiciliary account or instruct the bank to pay out money to any account of your choice, in any part of the world or issue an ATM Card or Bank Draft/Check to you, which you can also use to withdraw your money in your country or in any part of the world, when you are on a business trip or vacation.
As a Christian, I have nothing to gain by keeping your funds in this bank, I want to assist you and make that you receive your fund before my boss resumes office, but you must follow my instructions, to enable you receive your fund within the next 48hours, Hence, I advise you to keep this information very confidential because of some foreigners and impostors who go about presenting various bank accounts in order to divert another beneficiary’s fund.
This is the gospel truth why you have not yet received your long awaited overdue inheritance fund, and i can assure you that you will definitely receive this fund within the next 48hours, if you follow my instructions and comply with the payment procedure, without hesitation.
So if you really want to receive your overdue inheritance payment, then get back to me immediately and reconfirm your full names, resident address and mobile/cell phone number, i assure you that you will definitely smile again.
Contact me through this E-mail: [ email@example.com ] immediately,to enable me open the domiciliary account in your name, credit the $10Million usd into the domiciliary account and transfer directly from the domiciliary account, into any account of your choice, within or outside your country.
I am waiting for your quick response.
Mr. Femi Johnson,
The Director, Accounts / International Remittance Department,
United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA)
Often people ask me this question -Tonja, how do you stop someone from taking advantage of you and taking your hard earned wealth?
My answer isn’t often met with great enthusiasm because I believe that NOBODY can take what rightfully belongs to you. I am a firm believer that what is meant for you is yours and you do not need to “fight” to protect it.
I believe that if you surrender to the process, circumstances may appear that you wish didn’t but they are there for your benefit.
The problem is believing that pain can be for your benefit, that is where trust is essential. When you trust the Universe to deliver what is meant for you, you trust that it is for the best regardless of how it feels in the moment.
The moment may simply be meant for you to grow, to learn, to understand, to prepare or any other variety of reasons.
In my book Twist & Trust (by Tonja Demoff), I discuss this in depth.
Surrender doesn’t mean sit back and do nothing, it means to allow the process to unfold, do what you feel is the right thing without allowing your ego mind to take over. Go within your heart and your soul and seek the right action. Right Action is the action that will serve the greater good, create a situation for the highest and best solution for everyone. Then allow the Universe to take over, to set in motion what is to be.
An example from my life is:
I was involved in a law suit that ended very badly for me and quite frankly no better for the plaintiff. Each of us was economically harmed in many ways and neither has anything to show for the years of battle. I approached the plaintiff and extended my had to take the experience and use it in a positive way to help others understand how such a thing could happen from to people who were once friends, business partners and investors together.
The person declined the offer.
It did require her to go on video and answer some questions , be open, genuine and share her frustrations, anger etc… in a format that would give others information that would help them avoid what we had experienced.
Instead she prefers to paint me in an extreme and outrageous negative light across social media. Her jealousy, bitterness, anger and hatred is something that is in my experience. How I choose to deal with it is what shapes my experiences and what I learn from the situation is what shapes my character. That isn’t to say that it hasn’t hurt me, angered me, frustrated me etc… because it has. The point is that it has made me a stronger person, a person of more character, allowed me to be more vulnerable because it showed me humility in many “offshoots” of the situation if you will. I am more than I was when it started and I’ll be more than I was when it ends- what I learned is that I was always “more than I thought”… I just had to grow into it.
NOBODY can take what belongs to you… their attempt is your blessing!
When you are in a renovation project often the most difficult part of the project is finding a reliable contractor to do the job. Concerns of “costs” typically are at the forefront of the owners mind and contractors know this, so watch out!
In San Antonio this weekend I was consulting on a project where a contractor had been hired under the following scenario’s.
- Complete renovation of the Master Bathroom- The contractors invoice/contract stated 50% up front and 50% upon completion of the work.- The money was wired for the 50% upfront. a) the invoice also indicated that electrical would be paid separately b) electrical would be paid separately.
subsequent to the first contract a second contract was entered into “orally” and was to be documented by the contractor and placed into a written agreement. This agreement was to paint the entire house except for the upstairs bedrooms.
The quote was issued for 2,500.00 and all parties agreed to begin work.
A dispute arose regarding the painting of 2 rooms and a 1/2 bath. The contractor said I didn’t add that to the quote and then determined that the rooms equalled 1,200 square feet and therefore at his “discounted” price another 1,200.00 dollars or so was owed. The RED flag here is that the entire bottom level of the house was only 1900 square feet so how could a bedroom, study and 1/2 bath be 1,200 of those square feet? There was a kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry room, breakfast nook and hallways… hmmmm
The contractor then hired a plumber to come to the property and “drill” for plumbing. No contract was entered into between the plumbing company and the owner.
So far at this point in the scenario the contractor received 50% of contract #1, Electrician was paid 100% and a discussion was necessary regarding the discrepancy of contract #2.
The dirty little trick begins:
The contractor emails multiple invoices requesting the remaining balance to be paid for each job completed. Remember the #1 Contract is 50% up front and 50% upon completion. The contracts position is : “it means 50% of each separate job”… NO… the contract is for the entire job!
SOOOOOO…. I pull up, contractor has his truck packed up and his guys in it and tells me that he is leaving because he has not been paid. He says “you don’t want to pay, so I’m done”. Question is … Do you think the contractor has a right to walk away?
Answer from TX attorney is this:
- Contract #1 stands alone, so even if there is a dispute regarding the painting of the house ( Contract # 2) that is a separate contract and has nothing to do with contract # 1
- If the Contractor walks off and doesn’t finish the job they should refund the money for the work because they did not complete the project, they are not entitled to partial payment.
What about Contract # 2?
TX attorney feedback:
Same as above!
What are the consequences to the contractor for walking of?
- Damages- the cost of completing the project (essentially you are paying twice for the same job). This cost can’t be determined until you actually finish the project.
- Additional Travel expenses
- Time off work
- Legal expenses
- others as it pertains to each situation
Now let’s look at the plumbing company did they have a responsibility to enter into the agreement with the homeowner? YES!
When you have work done on your home you want to get a warranty. If the contractor hires the plumber and you as the owner don’t have a record of that then you don’t have a warranty. The plumbing company shouldn’t perform work on a property without the owners consent. Imagine if service providers just went into properties without any permission… wow!
Now that the contractor has walked off he sent a bill for all of the work that he supposedly finished and then threatens to place a mechanic lien on the property… How to deal with this next…
Please share your thoughts and experiences of working with contractors..