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What happens when you pull a permit and HIC lets his license expire after they are hired?

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I hired as a licensed and insured contractor in Feb 2021 to help with renovations on a home built in 1890 that I was purchasing; he started work on or about April 14, 2021. When I initially engaged the contractor, I checked his license on the HIC website and he had a valid HIC license. We shared a mutual friend, and I had no reason to believe he would not renew his license when required. After he failed to complete work, properly fix damages made by his minor son, or ensure his work passed building codes, I did additional research and found his license expired on April 7, 2021. He convinced me that since I was hiring the electrician and plumber, I had to take out the general building permit and he would take out others needed. During the 10 mnts he was employed, work was either not completed, not completed per our multiple discussions, or will not pass inspection. Issues were brought to his attention as they came up. I repeatedly and explicitly gave the contractor directions to not do any weatherproofing or further installation of insulation which he continued to do when I was upstairs working. I finally terminated working with him and two weeks after I paid his final bill – minus the charges for his son who was on the job site to learn – he “found more receipts.” In his letter, he informed me that I was required to pay the balance for his son and for these new receipts. He provided a couple of receipts with the price column covered and stated that if I did not pay in 10 days, he would file a mechanics lean on my home to ensure payment. At that point, I started researching my rights as a consumer and found Mr. Zaikis to be in violation of many requirements/Massachusetts General Law (MGL) of a home improvement contractor billing in excess of $1000. I reviewed all receipts and bills closer and found he was double charging, up charging pass-through costs, etc. I want to go after him for misrepresenting himself to get the job, failing to maintain his license, etc. but after finding out after the fact that he did not maintain proper workman's comp, etc I am worried. All other contractors hired had proper insurance, workman's comp, licensing, etc.

2 replies

Aug 12, 2022
You should really speak with a lawyer who has experience representing homeowners. I used to represent them, but now refer my homeowners to Ellen Tanowitz, Tanowitz Law Office 617-965-1130. She's excellent. You did not say whether the quality of the work was okay or how much he is claiming he is owed. If he was licensed when you hired him, that's okay, but it is a violation for him to require you to pull the permits. At the end of the day, if the job is done and he isn't claiming too much owed, it may be better to chalk it up to experience, settle with him and move on. Please use my name when you call Ellen.
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Aug 15, 2022
This would be a violation of MGL 142 A (HIC regulation) and 93A (Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices). You would be entitled to treble damages and attorney’s fees.
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