I am a freelance professional in Design-Build Industry. Recently, I have completed a residential renovation project, middle of June 2016 to be exact.
My problem is, my client and I do not have a black and white contract for the project. In the beginning I have been sending him contracts for signature but apparently were not signed for his reasons that he is mostly out of the country or he is too busy to read the contracts I sent him. I have commissioned two other projects (small scale) prior to this which were usually verbal agreement that went well, so basically from then on our relationship were purely based on 'Trust". We do have email threads though.
Going back to the current project, our payment terms for the project is "progress billing" and since we have completed all works stipulated in our bill of materials we have billed for 100% (prior to completion, we billed for a 90% progress but he requested if we could bill for 100% instead, as he told me "para isang payment nalang" so we agreed) After sending him the billing he inspected the site to confirm our accomplishment and he sent me an email after about some concerns, meaning the site is already "acceptable but with concerns". So we rectified his concerns. After two weeks, I made a follow up on the payment and again another inspection. This time he emailed me of his additional requests and told me he would only release our payment until those are done and so we did as he requested. 2 weeks after we made a follow up again and he told me he would inspect first before he would pay us.
Last week he told us he would inspect the site and pay us within that week. When I made a follow up during the weekend of that week he told me he did not have the time yet to inspect and reiterates that he will pay us "after he has inspected" the site.
I do understand that as the owner he has the right to confirm our claim, but the renovation is completed for intended use evident that they have been occupying it for almost a month already.
My question is, can I send him a formal payment claim letter (our communications are thru email, SMS or fb only) urging him to pay us and can we dictate the payment date? since he keeps on telling us "after inspection" what if he decides to inspect it after a month later, then that is another month delay for us. Is there any minimum time duration for payment claims?
And what if he still ignores my letter?
I would really appreciate your help. Thanks!