The Aqua Pool & Spa company in California had been building pools for over 20 years and had built up a good reputation, but after a bank went under and called in a $3 million loan, the company abruptly laid off everyone last week and shut its doors. Now everyone who was in the process of getting a pool built is stuck with torn up yards and half-finished pools. What’s worse, subcontractors are now dunning those customers for payment for services or supplies, even when the homeowners already paid (through Aqua Pool & Spa) months earlier.
“My yard looks like it was blown up with dynamite. It’s a nightmare, an absolute nightmare,” Wood said.
Then he received a notice from a concrete supplier, warning that a $4,000 lien could be recorded against his home if Aqua doesn’t pay for the 19 yards of cement used a few weeks ago for Wood’s concrete decking.
[Another couple] said a concrete company sent them a notice of a pending $6,000 lien. And Friday, they got another from a pool cover company saying they owe $5,500 — despite having paid Aqua for the cover months ago. And Aqua never finished the deck or landscaping, they said in an e-mail.
Our tipster Alex asks, “What, if anything, can homeowners do to protect themselves against situations like this (general contractor goes broke without paying subcontractors first) before starting a major remodeling project?” Any suggestions?
“Aqua Pool customers threatened with liens” [Modesto Bee] (Thanks to Alex!)