View Poll Results: Does the homeowner have to pay?
Yes. Laws in my area say the owner has to pay. 14 16.87%
No. Laws in my area protect the owner from having to pay unlicensed electricians. 25 30.12%
Unknown. Laws in my area are vague, or no precedence has been set. 3 3.61%
Iím just guessing the owner has to pay, but I donít know what the law says. 24 28.92%
Iím just guessing the owner doesnít have to pay, but I donít know what the law says. 12 14.46%
Beats me! Iím gonna go find outÖÖ.. 5 6.02%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Hypothetical situation:

Homeowner hires an electrician to do some work on his/her house. Electrician comes out, and does the work. Between the work being done and getting the bill, the homeowner finds out the electrician is not licensed. Assuming this takes place in a geographical area that legally requires licensing, does the homeowner still have to pay the electrician?


If you are familiar with the laws in your area regarding this, please choose one of the first three options. If you're just guessing or don't know, then choose one of the last three.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


I heard of this happening befor,
Now the electrician had a contract with the home owner to do the work and the contract was fullfilled but the homeowner did not want to pay him because of him not being licensed, So the electrician went to the courts and won. So he did get paid for the work. but in the long run he got fined for doing the work in the city without being licensed.

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Old 04-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


dog eat dog world out there..
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Depending on what the unlicensed contractor did.

If the work was under $500 bucks he may be entitled to get paid. Over that amount and depending on the type of work he did he'd screw the pooch here
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Hypothetical situation:

Homeowner hires an electrician to do some work on his/her house. Electrician comes out, and does the work. Between the work being done and getting the bill, the homeowner finds out the electrician is not licensed. Assuming this takes place in a geographical area that legally requires licensing, does the homeowner still have to pay the electrician?


If you are familiar with the laws in your area regarding this, please choose one of the first three options. If you're just guessing or don't know, then choose one of the last three.
Is there more to this?
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:58 PM   #6
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Framer53 View Post
Is there more to this?
No, that's all there is.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


No licensing in this area, so I'll just blather through my hat.

I'd say that if the work is done properly, the homeowner is ethically obligated to pay, license or not. However, as far as I know, the courts pretty universally hold that any contract which obligates any party to commit an illegal act is in itself illegal and unenforceable.

On the other other hand, the court usually has the option in a case like this to grant at least a partial award for materials/service rendered. Depends on whether the judge is having a good day.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:08 AM   #8
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Missing from your scenario is whether the sparky represented himself as licensed, or led the customer to believe that.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:38 AM   #9
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Here we go, a certain Handyman built a shed for a customer and also moved their existing shed to another city and reassembled. Customer contracted with Handyman, Handyman fulfilled all obligations, got paid by customer and then got sued by customer.
Called customer, they said "too bad you are unlicensed", went to court. Not only were they awarded the money they paid Handyman, but additional fee's and got to keep the shed too! (about $3,500.00). Oh yeah, they sold the other shed that was moved for $1500.00. They also won judgment for the money charged to move it.
If you work without a license you are going to have problems.
Same customer contacted CSLB, Handyman was slapped with a $1200.00 contracting without a license fine and is now on the "radar" so to speak.
In this "hypothetical" instance, I would most definitely say the homeowner will not have to pay.
If you are in California, I GUARANTEE that the homeowner will not have to pay. But you will! Good Luck.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


I know of a situation in Oregon where this exact scenario occurred. No, the homeowner did not have to pay (legally). Ethically, I am of the mind that the homeowner should pay. But how can you talk ethics in a situation where the contractor was not ethical to begin with?

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Old 09-19-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


They will do anything not to pay!!! If it wasn't this it would be something else.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:40 AM   #12
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


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They will do anything not to pay!!! If it wasn't this it would be something else.

I would imagine there are morally deficient homeowners who "unknowingly" hire unlicensed contractors just so they can weasel out of paying later.

Not saying I support the hacks...but the HO's are just as bad sometimes.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:38 AM   #13
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


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Originally Posted by DetailHandyman View Post
I would imagine there are morally deficient homeowners who "unknowingly" hire unlicensed contractors just so they can weasel out of paying later.

Not saying I support the hacks...but the HO's are just as bad sometimes.
If a guy is working without a license and the HO does not have to legally pay the guy without a license, why is the HO morally deficient?

Shouldn't the unlicensed contractor be the morally deficient person?

In Florida as well as many other states, an unlicensed contractor not only has no right to lien or sue, they can be held liable for triple damages on top of not getting paid.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:15 AM   #14
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


My wife was im small claims court because of a case relating to her job. While waiting for her case to be heard, she watched another case unfold in the courtroom:

A contractor was suing a HO for a balance owed to him for work he had completed. The judge was looking everything over, and noticed that the contractor's license had lapsed, and was expired on the date that he had performed the work for the HO.

The judge told the contractor that because his license had been expired on the date that he had perfomed the work, the HO was not obligated to pay him anything! The HO won, and legally ripped off the contractor, because the contractor hadn't renewed his license on time.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #15
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


California has specific laws pertaining to this issue. Unlicensed contractors do not have to be paid there under any circumstances.

In other places I thnk it would depend on the implied licensure. If some one presented themselves as licensed but were in fact not...there's no reason to expect them to be paid.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:05 PM   #16
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Quote:
Originally Posted by FthillGuy View Post
My wife was im small claims court because of a case relating to her job. While waiting for her case to be heard, she watched another case unfold in the courtroom:

A contractor was suing a HO for a balance owed to him for work he had completed. The judge was looking everything over, and noticed that the contractor's license had lapsed, and was expired on the date that he had performed the work for the HO.

The judge told the contractor that because his license had been expired on the date that he had perfomed the work, the HO was not obligated to pay him anything! The HO won, and legally ripped off the contractor, because the contractor hadn't renewed his license on time.
I thought a Jidge was supposed to try the case based on the facts presented to him, the lapse in the license should have been presented as a defense for non payment by the HO, not the Judge.

IMO the Judge went from being an impartial judge trying the facts of the case when he stumbled upon this information and rled on it.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:42 PM   #17
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Wow, I gotta say you really have that "pompous ass" thing down to a fine art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwalley View Post
If a guy is working without a license and the HO does not have to legally pay the guy without a license, why is the HO morally deficient?
If he knowingly hired the guy without ever planning to pay him, IMO he's a worse scumbag than the unlicensed worker who's just trying to make a buck (assuming he's not just scamming the HO). That's at the very least unethical as all getout.

Quote:
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IMO the Judge went from being an impartial judge trying the facts of the case when he stumbled upon this information and rled on it.
There's no lack of impartiality in looking at the documents related to a case and observing the facts contained therein. Just from that minimal description of the case, it sounds as though he was too impartial. Just because he [may have] simply goofed and didn't get his license renewed when he should have should not entitle the HO to a completely free ride.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:12 PM   #18
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


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Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
Wow, I gotta say you really have that "pompous ass" thing down to a fine art.



If he knowingly hired the guy without ever planning to pay him, IMO he's a worse scumbag than the unlicensed worker who's just trying to make a buck (assuming he's not just scamming the HO). That's at the very least unethical as all getout.



There's no lack of impartiality in looking at the documents related to a case and observing the facts contained therein. Just from that minimal description of the case, it sounds as though he was too impartial. Just because he [may have] simply goofed and didn't get his license renewed when he should have should not entitle the HO to a completely free ride.
I have no sympathy for an unlicensed contractor, and yes people will purposely hire them to do work for them so they can avoid paying them, these unlicensed contractors deserve what they get.

What is more unethical contracting without a license, or following the law about not having to pay an unlicensed contractor?

The unlicensed contractor is committing a felony (In Florida), the HO who does not pay the criminal unlicensed contractor is not breaking any laws.

The lapse in the license issue should have been able to be dealt with, it sounded like the guy was licensed during some of the work, so not paying the guy based on that is BS.

The law about not having to pay unlicensed contractors was meant to keep unlicensed contractors (those who never had a license, or those working outside the scope of their license) from having legal recourse, not as a way of not paying a contractor who had a lapse in his license.

Florida has specific wording to protect us licensed contractors against unlicensed claims, for instance if I have a valid state license, but I don't have an occupational license, I am still considered licensed.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:32 PM   #19
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Quote:
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What is more unethical contracting without a license, or following the law about not having to pay an unlicensed contractor?
Following the law is laudable, of course. But purposely using it to cheat someone out of payment owed for real work, licensed or not, is just shameful.

Quote:
The lapse in the license issue should have been able to be dealt with, it sounded like the guy was licensed during some of the work, so not paying the guy based on that is BS.
Now see, here, in the same post, you've completely reversed yourself. While I happen to fully agree with this latter statement, according to you the law is the law. That being the case, by the tone of most of your posts, he deserves no sympathy and no quarter.

I guess you don't have everything as well dialed in as I thought. Most pompous asses are consistent with their biases.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:51 PM   #20
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Re: Does The Homeowner Have To Pay?


Quote:
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Following the law is laudable, of course. But purposely using it to cheat someone out of payment owed for real work, licensed or not, is just shameful.



Now see, here, in the same post, you've completely reversed yourself. While I happen to fully agree with this latter statement, according to you the law is the law. That being the case, by the tone of most of your posts, he deserves no sympathy and no quarter.

I guess you don't have everything as well dialed in as I thought. Most pompous asses are consistent with their biases.
If an unlicensed contractor wants to break the law by working without a license, he should expect to get burned every now and then.

The great thing about the law is not only does the unlicensed contractor not have any legal recourse as far as non payment for the work he did, this also includes materials, he can also be sued for triple damages, be arrested and fined for working without a license.

You seem to have a lot of sympathy for unlicensed contractors, are you licensed?

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