Need to file a claim against your contractor? Helpful hints to get it done.

We are able to help you resolve your small claims dispute about 10 times faster than small claims court by using online arbitration.

Apr 03, 2019
Joe De Larauze
Joe De Larauze

If you’ve recently finished paying off your first house, or have owned one for a few years, you might be thinking of ways to keep your home in the best shape. Maybe your roof has sprung a leak, or you’ve decided to redesign your kitchen, or the master bedroom needs a new paint job? Either way, you’ll probably hire a contractor. Though things will generally go just fine, you might run into situations where things go wrong. In some cases, the contractor might have left the job incomplete after pocketing the payment. In others, they did the job poorly. Whatever the case, the job was not completed, and you want to get it resolved.

Matters like home repair or contractor disputes generally go through Small Claims Court, a government institution where you can file claims for small amounts of money, usually under $10,000. Though Small Claims Court is generally quicker than the standard court system, and will allow you to file a claim ‘pro se’ (without hiring a lawyer), it can still take months to complete, require a lot of prep work from you, and can cost a few hundred dollars. Overall, it can be a real pain to go to court, and not worth your time.

Because of the hassle that going to Small Claims Court represents, alternative solutions are becoming an increasingly popular way to resolve disputes. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is one of these, and allows you to take care of your entire contractor dispute online, in a few simple steps, and at reduced costs.



Here is the process through which Online Dispute Resolution platforms can make filing your contractor dispute case easy:

  • First of all, you generally want to make sure that a signed contract exists between you and your contractor, stating the kind and amount of work expected of them, as well as their compensation amount. This will ensure that if they don’t finish the job, you have proof of a previous agreement between you. However, even if you forget to write a contract, most ODR platforms will accept other kinds of evidence. This could be in the form of emails, or any other form of communication between you and your contractor.


  • When you first make your claim, you want to figure out who you’re filing against. A good number of contractors work independently, but some of them are attached to larger firms. If a contract states that your contractor is hired by a larger company, you technically can’t file an individual claim against them. But if you can’t find any business attached to them, then you should file an individual claim. A good way to figure this out is to search the contractor’s website, if they have one.


  • Once you file your claim, your contractor will be notified directly via email, or by certified email (depending on the platform you are using).                                                     
  • After your contractor has received your claim, they can decide whether they want to settle directly (pay the amount you claimed without a hearing) or argue their side in a video conference hearing (about 30 minutes long).

  • If your case goes to a hearing, a trained and neutral arbitrator will be chosen to resolve your case. After hearing both claims and looking at the evidence, the arbitrator will make a binding decision. If they rule in your favor, the platform will make sure you are paid quickly. If not, the platform will walk you through next steps.

This straightforward process makes ODR a great alternative when you don’t want to go through the hassle of Small Claims Court. Instead of spending hours filling out forms, doing research, and paying hundreds of dollars, ODR platforms can get you through your contractor dispute quickly and stress-free.

At Zeyo, an ODR platform that we built to help you avoid the headache of Small Claims Court, we are working to make your contractor dispute as efficient, stress-free, and inexpensive as possible. After you make your claim, we have a trained and neutral arbitrator (a dispute resolution professional) hear both sides of the story via video conference, look at the evidence from you and your contractor, and give a neutral decision, all online. In simple terms, you follow a simple online filing process, upload your evidence to the platform, attend a short video conference hearing with your arbitrator, and receive a decision.

Contractor disputes can be time-consuming and stressful. By taking care of the process online, you can reach a resolution much more quickly. Any questions? Feel free to chat with us below, or send us a note at