Everyone wants to find the best possible deal when looking for someone to perform home repairs or improvements. However, they also want to hire licensed contractors to make sure they obtain professional results. Unfortunately, some contractors misrepresent their qualifications and licensing status, which homeowners may only suspect when they notice substandard work or even severe damage to their homes. To help ensure you can take effective legal action in New York construction law cases, your best bet involves taking a proactive approach to hiring only licensed contractors. On the other hand, if you choose to withhold payment due to a dispute, New York law prevents unlicensed contractors from suing you for non-payment.
Although each NY municipality has its own licensing requirements and processes for obtaining licenses, home improvement contractors typically undergo a rigorous process to become licensed anywhere in the state of New York. For example, according to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, before filing a license application, contractors must obtain a host of documents certifying the legitimacy of their businesses, and most must produce proof of passing the home improvement contractor exam. Only contractors who have licenses within a specific municipality can obtain legally required permits for the jobs they perform. Since unlicensed contractors do not work within the law, they cannot sue you when you withhold payment for shoddy work.
However, before you go out and hire an unlicensed contractor, keep in mind that refusal to pay for bad work does not pay for any damages you sustain if the roof falls in after the contractor leaves. Moreover, even though construction law attorneys in New York can often help make you whole after an incident like this, even the most brilliant lawsuit cannot secure payment if the contractor has no financial resources.
At the law firm of Licatesi Law Group, LLP, our skilled lawyers have experience representing both sides of construction disputes, providing us with the insight needed to help homeowners or commercial property owners pursue justice in these often-complex legal issues.