Unlicensed contractors are tempting to hire as they typically offer cheaper prices, are easier to get ahold of, more willing to barter, and may even offer a quick fix to your problem. However, regardless of your financial savings or your intention, you can be held liable for hiring a fence contractor without a license.
According to Florida Statutes Section 489.127.3, there is a penalty for hiring unlicensed contractors in Florida, whether you knew it when you hired them or not. Florida is holding you responsible for checking the credentials of your contractors and confirming their licensure.
Regardless of your intention, the penalty for hiring an unlicensed contractor in Florida is an offense. It also includes a wide range of conduct pertaining to the home improvement and construction industries, and it is outlined in Florida Statutes Section 489.127.
Here are a few precautionary steps you can take to make sure your contractors are licensed:
- Unlicensed contractors generally do not offer a contract, nor do they have lien rights. Make sure you receive a contract from your contractor and make sure it’s on company letterhead.
- Unlicensed contractor services are typically less expensive than those of a licensed contractor as they have fewer expenses, legal fees, liability insurance, etc.
- Legally, you are not obligated to pay an unlicensed contractor. However, it is also illegal to hire the contractor in the first place.
- Even if you knew the contractor was not licensed before entering into a contract, the contractor and the applicable surety are liable for incomplete work or poor workmanship.
In Florida, a person involved in contracting must be certified, licensed, or registered for the specific areas of the work being performed. For example, if you are having work done on your roof, make sure the contractor is licensed in roofing, or the license is completely irrelevant.
The statutes are in place to protect consumers against those who have not fulfilled their educational requirements set forth and upheld by the State of Florida. Just as you don’t want a medical procedure done by someone that hasn’t gone to medical school, you don’t want someone working on your largest investment without earning a license.
Florida Fence has been a trusted producer of the finest fences on the Florida Suncoast since 1958. Generations of homeowners and contractors trust us for a reason. We are licensed, insured, and have produced the finest quality fences. We are the fencing contractor that generations of homeowners and contractors have learned to trust. Feel free to call us directly at (941) 921-4659 (Sarasota office) or (850) 588-4423 (Panama City office) with questions or for information on how we can help with your fencing solutions.