I-TEAM helps homeowner get court-ordered payment from roofer
K & D Roofing failed to meet judge's deadline to pay $2,073 for water damage
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville homeowner turned to the I-TEAM when a local roofing company failed to follow a judge's order and pay for damages caused by an unfixed leak.
Steve Neider told us he was fighting for years with K & D Roofing and Construction to honor the company's 10-year warranty and repair a leak that started five years after the company put on his new roof. When that didn't work, he took owner Robert Hile to civil court -- and won.
"It caused mold around here," Neider said while pointing to his damaged ceiling inside his home caused by the leaky roof. "It also ran down the rafter and leaked at various points down the roof."
Neider said he called the company when the leak first started, and a worker did come to his home, but didn't get the roof fixed.
"The third time he came out, he said I was on the work list and that someone would come out and fix the problem, and that is the last time I ever heard from him," Neider told the I-TEAM. "When the mold started, I kept calling him and leaving messages, but my phone calls were not returned. I told him, 'If you don't respond to this, I'm going to seek legal action,' and he didn't respond."
Neider followed through and sued Hile in civil court. The judge ruled in Neider's favor and ordered Hile to pay $2,073 within 30 days for the water damage caused by the leak Hile's company failed to fix.
But, Hile's court-ordered deadline to pay came and went. Neider then contacted us.
"Has he given you a reason why he has not paid you the judgment as ordered by the court?" we asked Neider.
"No, no," he responded.
After we couldn't find anyone at K & D Roofing's office, we called and left a message with an answering service. Hile called us right back and gave us his reason for not paying the money he owes.
We need to note: Florida law prohibits us from recording audio from another person without that person's permission. So, we recorded our end of the conversation.
"So, you are appealing it even though you acknowledged in the judgment there should be no leaks?" we asked Hile over the phone.
Hile changed his mind about the appeal while we were talking and told us he was going to pay Steve Neider right away -- and he did. A check was mailed to Neider, who received it the following day.
Neider is thankful to the I-TEAM, but he wants other homeowners to learn from his experience so it doesn't happen to them.
"Every time you hire a contractor, you have to treat it as if you have to take them to court someday," said Neider.
He told us it took him months to learn the legal process of suing someone in small claims court because he didn't have the money to hire an attorney. He says others can learn from him by:
- Getting a paper copy of the warranty that covers the work being done (He says K & D Roofing didn't give him a copy, instead telling him to look for it on the company's website)
- Taking pictures of contractors doing the work
- Getting a written estimate from any company you have to hire to fix bad work performed by the first contractor (Neider said you'll need it in civil court)
"I can't tell you how frustrating this is, not only the time and aggravation this all took, but trying to learn how to navigate the process," Neider said. "It's the reason I'm doing this right now because I think everybody should know about this. It's not something I ever want to do again."
To be fair, we checked K & D Roofing's record with the Better Business Bureau, even though there are complaints, it does have an A- rating. And, we checked: Hile's roofing license is current and in good standing with the state.
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