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How Long Does a Contractor Have to Return a Deposit?

When hiring a contractor, there are many important questions you should ask to ensure that you have the best experience possible. One of these questions is about the refund policy on your deposit, especially if the work on your home will take several weeks or more to complete. A common concern that consumers have regarding contractors is how long they have to wait to get their deposit back when their job is finished in a satisfactory manner. That’s why we put together this guide on how long does a contractor have to return a deposit based on what kind of contract was signed and whether or not they fully completed their services without any disputes.

Who doesn’t return deposits

Contractors who don’t return deposits are shady and unethical. They know that they will likely never see you again, so they don’t care how they treat you. This behavior is unacceptable and should be called out as such. If someone doesn’t show up for their appointment or doesn’t do the work they were contracted to do, then there should be some kind of recourse- even if it’s just getting your money back. It can be difficult for many people because contractors usually won’t give a person their contact information until after the initial deposit has been given; which means people can’t reach them in case something goes wrong. Many unscrupulous contractors also change their phone numbers once they’ve received an initial payment from someone- which makes it impossible to reach them when something goes wrong. For those reasons, it’s important to get as much information from a potential contractor before making any commitment. Ask for references and check with the BBB. You should also ask about guarantees- what is offered? Will there be any follow up services? And finally, request copies of all applicable licenses and certifications (if applicable).

What makes them think they can keep it?

I don’t believe that there is any law in the US that says that contractors have to return deposits. I have heard of some contractors who will be extremely nice for the first few months and then stop answering emails or phone calls when it comes time for them to get paid.

I think it’s best to go into any business with your eyes open and know what you are getting yourself into. You may want to ask for references from other people they’ve done work for, or at least find out how often he has been late on his jobs in the past.

If you do decide to hire him, make sure you get everything in writing and keep copies of all the paperwork just in case something like this happens again. Contractors generally should refund your deposit after the project is completed. Generally, these types of contracts include a non-refundable clause which states the following: The client agrees to pay for labor and materials upfront as set forth in Section ____. So if you’ve already paid up front and didn’t receive anything back after the project was finished, contact an attorney to help you recover your money back through small claims court!

What are the laws in your area?

In most states, the law is that the contractor must refund the full amount of your deposit if they fail to start the agreed-upon work within 30 days after receiving the check. If you agree with a contractor that their work will take more than 30 days, then he or she has until 30 days after starting that work to finish and give you your money back. Some states allow for up to 60 days in certain circumstances. If a contract includes specific details about how long it should take for work to be completed and what happens if it doesn’t happen on time, then follow those rules instead. You can usually find these details in an addendum to the contract. These contracts might also include things like penalties for incomplete work, or the percentage of the final cost owed by each party. As always, make sure you read any additional terms carefully before signing anything! There are some situations where the contractor may not need to return your deposit at all, such as when the work was canceled because it was not started by the deadline set in writing, but only after 30 days had passed.

What kind of recourse do you have?

If your contractor has failed to provide you with the work they promised, you may be able to get your money back. Depending on the situation, you may be able to keep their deposit and use it for hiring someone else who will do the work.

If the work was guaranteed in writing and was never started, this means that your contract should allow for cancellation without any financial penalties.

You can also sue them if they’ve failed to deliver on their promises or if they’re using false statements as an excuse not to complete the project. However, there are time limits associated with these types of lawsuits so it’s important that you act quickly. A legal team will review the details of your case and determine whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed. The sooner you start gathering evidence and information, the better chance you have at getting what’s owed to you.


A contractor should refund the deposit as soon as possible. If they are unable to do so, they must give an excuse. For example, if the project was delayed by weather, then the excuse would be that the weather slowed down construction. This excuse is acceptable because it directly ties in with one of the risks mentioned in the contract. The time frame for returning a deposit will depend on what type of agreement was made when requesting it. If there is no written agreement and money was exchanged, then the contractor should refund within thirty days of completion or final invoice being sent out. When no money has been exchanged, the contractor should refund within fourteen days of completion. When money has been exchanged, but not all work has been completed yet, then the contractor should refund as soon as possible.



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