RENT Magazine Q3 '23


LIABILITY ISSUES WITH UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS Hiring unlicensed contractors poses significant liability risks. When property owners engage with unlicensed vendors or property management companies that employ such contractors, they open themselves up to potential legal repercussions. Unlicensed contractors may lack the necessary

qualifications, skills, and insurance coverage to perform the required tasks. This can lead to substandard work, property damage, or even injuries to workers or tenants. To mitigate these risks, property owners must ensure they hire licensed professionals and thoroughly vet any third-party service providers.

CASE STUDIES: LESSONS LEARNED To emphasize the importance of background checks, let's examine three case studies that illustrate the consequences of insufficient screening. Maintenance Professional: A property owner named Danita Sorenson

employed by a licensed general contractor. However, in this case, since the general contractor (Designs by Leo) was unlicensed, California Labor Code stipulates that the worker (Mary Jones) is considered an employee of both the unlicensed contractor and the property owner. As a result, Danita Sorenson, the property owner, was found liable for Mary Jones' injuries. This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring that contractors hired for a project are licensed, especially when they have employees working under them.

hired a landscaping company called Designs by Leo, owned by Odette Miranda, to work on her property. Odette Miranda then hired Mary Jones to assist with the landscaping work. During the project, Mary Jones had an accident while using a ladder to trim a tree and suffered serious injuries. She filed a lawsuit against Danita Sorenson, the property owner, seeking compensation for her injuries. Typically, a property owner would not be held financially responsible for the injuries of someone


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