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Is an IICRC allowed to complete a $40,000 contracted project after water damage (only $12,000 from demo/mitigation)?

CaliforniaLicenses

My IICRC technician pretended to be a licensed contractor. He is not. He completed $40,000 of work by working himself and hiring others to perform (only $12,000 was demo/mitigation work for water damage). I owe $7000. The work is a disaster and was completed without permits. There is also property damage and he will not return my keys until paid in full. Is he entitled to the remaining $7,000?

1 reply

Feb 21, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about that. California is incredibly strict about licensing - and when someone holds out that they're licensed and performs work that requires licensure, serious penalties come into play. That includes, potentially, the disgorgement of all payments already made to such an unlicensed contractor, and the forfeiture of any alleged right to payment. Further, unlicensed parties aren't able to use legal processes - such as filing a lawsuit or enforcing a mechanics lien - in order to recover payment. Where an unlicensed party has performed work and caused damage, it's generally a good idea to report that party to the Contractors State Licensing Board and to consult a local construction attorney familiar with handling the work done by unlicensed contractors. By hiring (or at least consulting) a local attorney, they can review your circumstances and any relevant documentation and advise on the most effective route for proceeding. Plus, in order to recoup what's been paid or receive monetary damages for the faulty work performed, an owner would likely need to pursue litigation (or at least threaten it) in order to be made whole. For more on California licensure (and the penalties for not being licensed) this resource should be valuable: California Contractors License and the CLSB: Understanding the Rules.
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