Here at Property Maintenance Experts, we do all the maintenance work for rental homes managed by Property Management Experts. Today, we are talking about a hot topic which we are often asked: should I use an unlicensed contractor? In our business, people ask us this all the time and the obvious answer is no. There are a number of reasons why it's not a good idea.
A lot of homeowners think it's okay to hire someone without a license to do basic things around the house, or mow the lawn or do a little painting. However, in order to do over $500 of work, you need to have a contractor's license. If you are having construction done at your property or maybe you want to have a new shower surround installed, your contractor is going to have to pull a building permit to make that work legal. The building permit provides a second authority, from the city, which can make sure the work is done properly. However, only licensed contractors can pull building permits. So it's pretty simple - if you are working with an unlicensed contractor, the work being done on your property will not have the benefit of a building permit.
Even more important than keeping the work legal is the liability. From the owner's standpoint, if you're having someone in your house, on your property, to do work, you are responsible for their liability. If they injure themselves on your Stockton property, you won't have any recourse. An unlicensed person probably has no liability insurance and no workers compensation insurance. The Contractor's State Board requires these insurance policies on their licensed contractors.
Always ask a potential vendor or contractor for their license number. Once you have that license, you can run it through the system on the State Board's website and it will tell you if their license is valid. You would never go to a dentist who wasn't licensed. You would never go to an attorney who didn't have a license. You don't want someone doing construction on your house when they don't have a license.
Using unlicensed workers seems to be a common practice among homeowners, but think twice because you're putting yourself and your property at risk.
For more information, you can check out the Contractor's State Board website. They will explain the dangers of hiring people without a license. We recommend that you don't do it as a property manager. Hire the professional who will do the work right the first time and protect you from liability.
If you have any further questions, please contact us at Property Maintenance Experts or through Property Management Experts, and we'd be happy to help you.