Howard Tanner and Steven Tanner,
co-owners of Sennett Construction, failed to honor the terms of a renovation
contract signed Sept. 15, 2012. We agreed on a business venture to flip homes and I even formed an LLC. He is a registered New York State Code Enforcement officer from the Town of Sennett, Village of Cato and Cayuga County. His role in the flipping of homes was to identify distressed properties that he and his son could fix quickly. When we sold the house, which I bought, we would split the profits. He quit working after only half-finishing the first home I bought.
Among the many contracted and paid-for services they did not complete during four phases of work were: an upgraded deck, installation of interior doors and door frames; installation of bathroom fixtures (toilets and vanities); installation of kitchen cabinets, sinks and faucets; installation of molding and some trim work; installation of a water heater (which he originally installed but did not meet code); installation of outside lights; installation of laundry and kitchen vents; installation of safety railings and heating vents; completion of mudding and sanding of sheet rock, primer and ceiling coating; and some electrical and plumbing.
The Tanners stopped working Feb. 27, 2013, saying they were overbudget based on receipts they provided me. Yet, they spent hundreds of dollars on gas, candy, pellet fuel and equipment: saw blades, compressors,
work lights, screwdrivers, gloves, and drill bits that were not part of the contract. Also, researching SKU #s of items they bought, I determined that several receipts were fraudulent and appeared to be materials related to other jobs. Further, I have paid for electrical, plumbing and architectural inspections in which I have no documentation. The Tanners denied the bogus receipts for thousands of dollars when I confronted them in January. They then blocked me via cell phone and worked sparingly thereafter. After writing me a check (my money) for $900 for bathroom fixtures, they put a stop payment on it, saying they needed the money for other items. I asked Howard Tanner to set up an escrow account, he never did.
On Feb. 27, the day he stopped work, Howard Tanner presented me a "new" set of receipts, replacing the prior ones he'd given me the past 4 months. He said he'd removed some of the bogus receipts.
Upon review, I found more bogus receipts, dated in Jan. and Feb. I have photos of the incomplete work and proof of bogus receipts. His most egregious act of poor work was when he installed a water heater that did not meet NY State Standards. I took pictures of it and called the local Code Enforcement Officer to complain. Howard Tanner then disconnected the water heater and cut my water supply tubes, preventing me from being able to test the water pressure in the house.
One example of his dishonesty: I gave him a specific SKU # for a shower combo faucet and head, about $75. He purchased one for $160, and after installing it, covered it with plastic so I could not see that it was the wrong product. Also, my insurance company specified that I have railings on the front steps and back deck or else they would cancel my insurance and, even though I gave him ample notice, he refused to build the railings.
I have already reported him and his company to the Better Business and will be filing a complaint to the NY State Attorney's General office shortly. I have also retained a lawyer.