Beware Unlicensed Contractors
The task of any homeowner during a roof repair project is to make sure you are using a legitimate licensed contractor. Not all roofing contractors are legitimate, and all too often homeowners are scammed for what should have been an uncomplicated roofing fix. Besides the potential of ending up with poor-quality work, homeowners hiring unlicensed contractors are taking a great risk, leaving them liable to plenty of financial headaches, including the following:
1) Contracts with unlicensed contractors may not be legally enforceable.
This can create many problems for your property. You may not have any recourse should an issue arise, leaving you in a financially fraught situation.
2) The financial responsibility rests on the homeowner if a project becomes problematic.
Liability insurance protects your property in case a contractor causes inadvertent damage to your property: For example, if he were to nail through a water pipe and create flooding, the damage would be covered by the contractor’s liability insurance. Unlicensed contractors do not have such protections, and there will be not much ground for you to stand on in a court of law, should you decide to sue.
3) The homeowner takes liability for any worker injured on their property.
Workers Compensation Insurance protects you from liability should a contractor’s employee sustain an injury on the job, from cuts to broken bones. Medical treatment for workers’ injuries are covered under this Insurance, so you are not legally liable for the injured party. This is not the case with unlicensed contractors. If an employee were to fall off a ladder, you would be responsible for his bills since it was your property he sustained those injuries on. And like with property damage, there is no legal recourse you could take.
4) The homeowner is responsible should the project not be up to code.
You will be responsible for making the repairs and alterations if the unlicensed contractor’s work does not meet local building codes, or if the contractor doesn’t pull the necessary permits. Unlicensed contractors do not have the necessary permits.
5) Future damage to homes as the result of Unlicensed Contract work is the homeowner’s liability.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy could become void if you allow work to be performed by an unlicensed contractor, should a claim arise as a result of that work.
6) Sub-contractor payments and any liens are the liability of the homeowner.
There are scams involved with unlicensed contractors, some involving cash upfront at a reduced cost. But halfway through the project, sub-contractors begin to ask you for payment, threatening to put a lien on your house if the payment is not made. Again, there are not many options for a legal batter if you hire a unlicensed contractor.