Why Homeowners are Vulnerable When Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

Cost efficiency is generally a high priority on a homeowner’s list when beginning a home improvement project.  Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of saving money by hiring an unlicensed contractor.  Although it may seem to be the more attractive, less expensive option, hiring an unlicensed contractor to save some money could be very problematic, leading to long-term negative financial effects.  This is due to the fact that there is no guarantee that an unlicensed contractor will have the necessary insurance policies in place to protect your property, themselves, their workers, and any other damages that may arise from their construction work.

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The Home Improvement Licensing Rule: A Shield And Not A Sword

Photographer: Timothy Schenck

If you have read previous articles of this blog, you may be aware that New York construction contractors can be barred from suing or enforcing a mechanic’s lien if they do not possess required home improvement licenses, which has resulted in the dismissal of many contractors’ claims. On the other hand, project owners sometimes argue that a contractor’s failure to possess a license should not only prevent the contractor from recovering more money but should require the contractor to return all monies already paid for the work. Courts’ responses to this argument have been mixed.

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