Help! I must be the worst judge of character on the planet. I made the ultimate mistake in dealing with a custom home client. I let them move in a few weeks before their home was completed so that they could save money on their moving expenses and rent (a total of $10k min. that they saved) and allowed them to hold back $40k from my final payment to guarantee that I finish the punchlist items. (I’m sure you can see where this is headed).
Now they want to keep adding to the punchlist. Yesterday they even hired a home inspector to try and add to the list. From what is on the punchlist right now, there is about $2400 worth of work to be completed. They are currently holding over $48k of the final payment (they changed the amount we agreed to hold back, as well without my consent).
I have a very strong contract to guard against this situation, but unfortunately I let them move in as a favor, and now am starting to panic that I’ll never collect any of the money.
Has anyone ever successfuly dealt with this problem? I could hire a lawyer, but I’d never collect all that is due…Any suggestions would be appreciated. And yes, I’ll never let anyone move in before completion/final payment again!