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Contractor billing

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Georgia

I negotiated a lease for a commercial space for my wife's new small business.
The landlord contracted with a local contractor for the build-out at a pre-determined price. I reimbursed the landlord directly for the build out costs. The contractor worked for the landlord.
Now, the contractor has made an attempt to bill above and beyond the pre-determined fee for work that was agreed to be in the original pre-determined price. The landlord refused to pay and the contractor attempted to bill me for "changes" and for items that were in the "punch list" (a customary list for items that need to be completed correctly because of failure to complete properly the first time). Yes, there were some minor changes made, but only with the total understanding that "only if it was in the budget". My wife and I repeatedly made this comment. We were always told that the minor changes were in the budget. The contractor at no time informed us that any additional charges would be fabricated upon the completion of the project. Our landlord even witnessed our "only if it is in the budget" comment on numerous occasions. I refused to pay citing that we had no agreement for any work he was arbitrarily billing for.
My wife and I have now been served with a claim asking a judgment against us for the amount. I have never had a contract with this contactor (written, verbal or implied) for anything he is billing me for. My landlord has been reimbursed in full. Are contractors permitted to do this? Any advice? My wife and I have personally been listed as "plaintiff" in the Statement of Claim. We are a Limited Liability Company DBA. We have no contract with this individual at all. We are worried that he is permitted to do this by law and have little resources to defend ourselves. And being a small business, my wife has no employees. This makes it very difficult for us to spend time in a court room defending ourselves.

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