Consumer Beware!

Don’t rely on a handshake – The Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor!

In an attempt to save money many homeowners hire unlicensed contractors to perform home repairs and improvements.

While this may sometimes be necessary, you must be aware of the risks you face by hiring unlicensed contractors.

1.)  Unlicensed contractors are not insured – therefore, they expose you to significant financial harm should an injury or property damage occur.

2.)  Unlicensed contractors may not have the skills, training, or work ethics to repair damage or perform home improvements properly.

3.)  Unlicensed contractors have no professional or legal standard(s) or regulations they must abide by.

4.)  Unlicensed contractors are subject to arrest and prosecution for working without a license.

5.)  Your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover unlicensed contractors – therefore, the homeowner is liable for any damages and/or injuries that may occur.

6.)  Hiring an unlicensed contractor is the direct responsibility of the homeowner – therefore, the homeowner is accountable for all outcomes associated with the unlicensed contractor’s work.

What to ask:

1.)  Do you have a valid contractor’s license? If yes, request proof – validate that it is still active.

2.)  Do you have general liability insurance? If yes, request proof.

3.)  Are you bonded? If yes, request proof.  *Note: A Contractor’s Bond is a requirement for the issuance of an active license, reactivation of a license, and for the maintenance of an actively renewed license in the state of California.

4.)  Do you have any references/reviews? Ask for references of previous customers. Do they have reviews online, such as Yelp?

RED Alerts:

1.)  Does not supply the consumer with a written contract or guarantee.

2.)  May offer a large discount if work to be performed is approved immediately.

3.)  Unlicensed contractors “usually” do not posses general liability insurance.

4.)  Requesting a large down-payment payable in cash.

5.)  Requesting payment by check be made out to cash, or individual’s name instead of business name.

6.)  High-pressured sales pitches and/or scare tactics.

Protect yourself, your home, your finances! 

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