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Collecting money for services without being licensed but have a sign contract


My husband did repairs for a gentleman on his house. My husband is not licensed but he carries liability insurance. We have written contract he signed. The homeowner paid 3 checks and then stopped payment on 2 checks totaling $2000. What can we do?

3 replies

Jan 25, 2021

Is there a reason he stopped payment on the checks? Is there a dispute? In VA you need to be licensed, but there is a cavet in the law that may help you. " A construction contract entered into by a person undertaking work without a valid Virginia contractor's license shall not be enforceable by the unlicensed contractor undertaking the work unless the unlicensed contractor (i) gives substantial performance within the terms of the contract in good faith and (ii) did not have actual knowledge that a license or certificate was required by this chapter to perform the work for which he seeks to recover payment. "

Was the customer aware you did not have a license and were you aware you needed one? The cancelling of the check leaves an NSF check situation. Check the laws in your state regarding that aspect.


Jan 26, 2021

The actual question under the statute is whether the CONTRACTOR and not the individual had the knowledge that he needed a license. I agree on the NSF question as well.

Jan 26, 2021
In Maryland, he needs to be licensed to collect paymen if the work requires a license. If you take the matter to court, it is likely that the judge will make your husband return the illegal fee of $1,000, and he could be charged criminally. It is possible to work under the license of a licensed contractor, but unlicensed contractors are illegal in residential home improvement. Your husband can seek a job on commercial premises or for a licensed contractor. 

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