Using unlicensed contractors

Old 07-31-03, 06:24 PM
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Using unlicensed contractors

I am currently inteviewing prospective landscapers/contractors to do the landscaping of my new home which came with little or no landscaping. So far, the person I like the most doesn't have a license. He is a friend of a friend and to my knowledge hasn't had any problems, like lawsuits arising from an injured worker yet. His work looks good, and price is 30% lower than most of the others. I am worried that what if I am the first to have someone get hurt on my property that is one of his workers. What kind of risks would I be taking by hiring someone without a license? Obviously, many other people do it. What is your advice and or suggestions.


Old 07-31-03, 07:47 PM
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I don't know about CA, but here, a license and insurance coverage are two different things.

I personally don't care IF they have a me, that just a tax by the state for the privilege of working....It may or may not indicate competence.

Insurance is another thing. Just ask for a certificate from his insuror for liability and workmans comp. If he doesn't have that, you ARE taking a risk to allow him or his employees to work on your property. How big a risk is up to you to decide.
Old 08-02-03, 08:29 PM
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Licensed contractors

All you need in KY is a pickup truck with a ladder to be a contractor. Licensure is not an issue here.

You do need to get copies of certificates of Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance. If they do damage to your property they need to be covered by liability insurancce. Should they become injured on your property, they need to be covered by Workers Comp. When you get the copies of certificates, call the agencies to make sure insurance is current.

As a member of two states' Homebuilders Associations, I am an advocate of hiring licensed and insured contractors. Our "real" contractors have to bid against these folks who are not paying their "dues" and can bid in way lower than those who pay Workers Comp and Liability. Many states are now passing laws that require contractors to be licensed and produce evidence of insurance. You may pay more for the services of an insured contractor, but it is relief to know that you will not be held responsible if something happens to them or your property.

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