Is it okay for a subcontractor to use someone else’s license? With the real estate market starting to look up, many people are making decisions to improve on their home. Maybe to sell, maybe to just make the value better, whatever the reason, a lot of them will be looking for a contractor or subcontractor to help them. Be careful when choosing the subcontractor. Unless you want to be personally liable, hire one that has their own license and isn’t using someone else’s.
Home improvement is a big business, and many of those out there doing it aren’t in it for the betterment of your home. They’re in it for the betterment of their wallets, whatever the cost. Finding a good subcontractor is incredibly important to the structural integrity of your home.
One of the first questions you should ask any contractor or subcontractor you interview is “what is your license number.” One who is licensed should have no trouble giving it to you. Oh, and be sure to check it with the municipality, county or state who issued it. Someone who hesitates says they don’t have one, or that they use the license of another contractor should be avoided at all costs.
“What’s the big deal?” you might be thinking. It is a big deal, and here’s why. A reputable contractor, general or subcontractor, should have liability insurance. If they don’t have a license of their own, in their own personal or business name, they can’t get insurance. A license helps to ensure that the contractor has the proper knowledge to do what they say they can do.
If something goes wrong, like your house catches fire due to bad wiring, and the contractor was unlicensed, your homeowners insurance won’t cover the loss. So, you’ll have to cover the full cost of rehabbing your burned out home. Can you do that? It will take a lawsuit to get the contractor to pay. More expense, and in many states if you knowingly hired an unlicensed contractor you have no grounds to sue them.
Bottom line, you’re stuck. So do yourself a favor and use only licensed subcontractors that have current insurance.