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What is statute of limitations to file against a contractor's bond? Isn't it 2 years max?

CaliforniaBond ClaimsLicenses

Someone is filing against my contractor's bond from over 3 years ago and I never had a contract or payment from this party. I never did any work through them, but a previous owner. They didn't even purchase this property until 5/1/17. Job was signed off by city 1/16/16 according to all building codes and permits. I am thinking they have no claim and are being frivolous. Greg Meise

3 replies

Mar 11, 2019
Having some claim seemingly come up out of nowhere is frustrating, and can cause practical issues with defending yourself. Generally, there are strict time limitations for making claims against a contractor's bond. The rules and requirements that apply, however, are dependent on what type of bond claim is being pursued.

In California, like many states, contractors are required to obtain a License Bond, in order to remain licensed to perform contracting work in the state. Additionally, on some projects (and/or at the request of some owners) a contractor will need to procure a payment bond (and/or a performance bond), as well - to protect the property from lien claims, make sure everybody down the payment chain gets paid, and to ensure the work is accomplished satisfactorily.

The deadline by which a claim against the payment bond must be received is dependent on a few factors. If the claimant did not directly contract with the general contractor the bond claim must be given within 15 days after the recordation of the notice of completion. If no notice of completion was filed, the time period is extended to 75 days after the completion of the entire project.

With respect to a claim against a contractor's license bond, the deadline is different. First a claim can only be made against the bond that was effective at the time of the incident - so the effective dates are important. Additionally, most claims must be made within 2 years of the incident which triggered the claim, although that differs for claims related to unpaid wages.

If something is heard from the surety it is always best practice to respond with information supporting your case, which may include the facts listed that the job was finished more than 3 yeas ago; the claimant didn't own the property at the time and had no contractual relation with anybody on the project; etc.

Sep 9, 2020
A GC subcontracted us to do some stucco work on his clients house. The job was comnpleted in January 2018. We were told that we needed to do some touch up on the stucco. We went to the house two different times to do the requested touch up and were refused access by the owner. We notified the GC and he stated not to worry about it. In May of 2020 the GC had to pay his bonding company for a claim on this job because of the stucco touch up not being done. The GC filed a claim against our bond for the damages. We were told by the bonding company that the two year statute applys to when our contractors license has to be renewed and not as your explanation of two years after the incident which triggered the claim. Can the GC file a claim against our bond in order to reimburse the funds he paid to his bonding company? Is your two year statue explanation incorrect?? We were never given the opportunity to do any touch up on the stucco because we were not allowed on premises. What can we do?? Regards, Jason
Jan 15, 2021
A contractor did work on the house I sold in July of 2019. Liberty Mutual tried numerous times to learn of the final bill on the work but no one from Smith and Sons would EVER return phone calls. Now two years later the contactor is calling me for $5,000 that was not billed and I was never told I owed. What can I do?

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