In the wake of the costs of repair after a storm there is always a surge of cheap labor for repairs, but hiring the wrong contractor can cost you big in the long run. If you hire an unlicensed contractor and you know he is unlicensed, it’s illegal. Beware that if the state of Florida finds out that an unlicensed contractor is doing work for you, more than simply being illegal, it can result in construction delays and fines. Additionally, if you are a licensed contractor and you hire an unlicensed subcontractor, the state may suspend or revoke your license. Simply put, it’s just not worth it.
Unlicensed contractors may:
- Have poor or little in the way of qualifications. Lack of education, insurance, or qualification required of a licensee.
- Have shoddy work. Poor quality work or may not finish the project, leaving you to repair or finish the project.
- Have a criminal background. Background may include fraud, theft, violent crime, sexual offenses, and substance abuse.
- Put you at risk of being the victim of a scam. Con artists pose as contractors and often target vulnerable people and take advantage of homeowner’s need for urgent post-hurricane property damage.
- Have very limited resources. If the only answer is an expensive civil suit, recovery in unlikely.
- Have no insurance and liability for injuries to others. An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured and will have no way to pay you back for any property damage or injuries to others.
- Have no coverage under your homeowner’s policy. As most homeowner policies require that work must be done by a licensed contractor, there may be no coverage for work that is not.
- Not comply with building codes. Many projects, even small ones, require permits and inspections that unlicensed contractors ignore or are unfamiliar with. Working without a permit may cause you to have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines by local government.
This is not even an exhaustive list of the problems that could occur from hiring an unlicensed contractor. Please think twice before you consider hiring an unlicensed contractor. If the state is investigating you for hiring an unlicensed contractor, or you have a contract dispute with an unlicensed contractor, contact an experienced attorney at E.A. Zebell, PL to discuss your options.