The Real.Est List
Contractor demands to be paid for work performed in wrong apartment
We've all heard those stories about surgeons operating on the wrong patient. But is the patient ever actually billed for it? In one of the craziest renovation mix-ups we've heard in awhile, a new apartment owner (seeking advice on StreetEasy.com) explains that he arranged to have his vacant place painted while on vacation.
Before the painters arrive, the doorman mistakenly directs a different contractor (hired by an owner one floor below) to the apartment, where he rips up some bathroom tile and proceeds to install a glass shower door. The (allegedly) $2,400 job is halfway complete before the painters show up and unravel the case of mistaken identity. Now the shower installer wants $1,500 to finish the work.
Extortion--or fair play? After all, the owner didn't lose a kidney--he gained a glass shower door. (Sort of the equivalent of getting accidental plastic surgery, we guess.)
For now, the owner says he'll pay up (and return his shower curtain to Bed Bath & Beyond) rather than deal with the hassle of suing the installer to return the bathroom to its original condition. The vox populi at StreetEasy are incredulous: "You have to be kidding, you plan on paying this guy for work you didn't even order? Why don't you just cook him dinner while you're at it? No offense but this guy must be telling this same story to everyone he knows and laughing his ass off knowing he actually got you to pay for it."