5/2018 I signed a contract with Mr Jara to have an addition built to my home for $109,000.Thecontract included Adding a new bedroom with bathroom over the existing garage, adding an outdoor kitchen,install a gate, replace entire existing roof & also installing the roof for the new addition(all materials for the roofwere included in the price) installing new driveway & building a porte cochere in the front of the house. Not included in the price was floor tiles, light fixtures,bathroom fixtures& driveway pavers.The plans were submitted to the City of Hialeah Building dept by The Fortress Group (Architect).Due to an easement on the front of our property directly beneath where the porte cochere was to be existed an easement.The City gave Samuel of The Fortress Group a list with contact info of all utilities with a right to the easement. Permission was obtained in writing from each one to build over that easement. All permits were approved by the City of Hialeah. Prior to Manuel commencing I had already paid him $50,000.He started demolishing the existing driveway & lawn in preparation for the porte cochere. A few days after he started a notice was posted on the house that theconstruction had to stop. It was posted by Everglades Pipeline. The City of Hialeah did not have a record that this company had a pipeline in that easement also. I hired an attorney to handle this situation for me. Her name is Annie Diaz. She obtained permission from the Building Dept. for us to continue with the rest of the project while the issue with Everglades Pipeline was clarified. Weeks passed after the City gave permission and nothing else was done on the property. After much insistence from me Mr.Jara began work on the house again (Its 2012) In February Mr.Jara told me that I had to leave the house because the electricity had to be disconnected. He told me that I was going to be out of my house no more than 2 months. Mr.Jara contracted High Performance Electric to do the electrical work. During that time Mr.Jara built the room above the garage. 4 months had already passed and electricity had not been restored to the house. I passed by everyday and nobody was working on the house. One day I passed and saw Fernando Canizares (owner of High Performance Electric) working there & I asked him why was it taking so long.He said that Manuel had not paid him.The problem was money.I called Manuel and told him this and he said not to worry that it would be solved in a few days and In 2 weeks max I would be able to return to my home. Months passed. All this time I was living with my wife & 4 kids in a small 2 bed apartment.I rented furniture since he told me it would be 2 months max I figured it was more cost effective to rent than to buy them. I called the company that I rented the furniture from (Cort) and told them to pick it up. I was relieved because I could not afford to pay the rental.The apt. was without furniture we were sleeping on the floor. Manuel was aware of this, he went to the apartment.More months passed & electricity still wasnot restored.After my wife had a nervous breakdown upset because she didn’t want the kids to spend Christmas sleeping on the floor Manuel finally finished the electrical work in mid Dec. During the time we were out of the house water leaked through the area that was removed for the new addition.Large parts of theceiling fell inside the house in the livingroom and the dining room.Mold grew on the furniture & the walls.He told us that the Cityof Hialeah was to blame because they didn’t let him continue & that was the cause for the delay and he said we shouldsue the City.He told us that we should change the price on the contract to a higher price in order to be able to file a claim.Isaid no. Manuel referred me to an attorney and took me to the City of Hialeah building Dept. At the building Dept the person that spoke with us was very clear that the only responsible person for the damage to the house was Manuel for failing to complete the work.He was clearly permitted to finish the rest of the project.After that months passed and he did nothing. In May of 2018 we asked him to come to the house to talk.We had already paid him $90,000.The porte cochere could not be done due to the easement. The cost of the porte cochere was $20,000Deducting that he was paid in full We told him this.He said that he is sorry that even though we cannot build the portecochere we have to give him the money because he is broke and doesn’t even have money to buy milk for his kids.He implied that he usedthe money on another project and they didn’t pay him. He said that he placed a lien on that property and once they paid him he could finish our house.He threatened me by telling me that he would have all the permits closed if I did’nt give hime more money. He had to request an inspection for plumbing and lied to us.He said that he had already done so and that the inspector didn’t come, then a few days later he said he never requested it because he didn’t have the money.After that he stopped answering my calls.He didnt do the roof, didn’t purchase the materials for the roof,didn’t finish the otdoor kitchen, didn’t buy or install the sheetrock,didn’t install the floor, didnt do the driveway or install the gate. Left holes and debris all over the front and back yard.
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