Construction work costing more than $500.00 must be performed by a licensed contractor. A handyman cannot do work for more than $500.00. If anyone comes onto your property to do work which requires a contractor’s license, and does not have the required license, that person is the owner’s employee and not an independent contractor. That includes the person the owner hires, and any subcontractors and employees that person hires. They are all the property owner’s employees. That is the law, by statute and by many judicial precedents. There is no such thing as an unlicensed contractor. If the contractor is not licensed, then he is an employee.
The owner’s homeowners insurance does not cover liability for injuries which should be covered by workers compensation insurance. Homeowners do not carry workers comp. Some homeowners insurance policies might have some coverage for “occasional work,” whatever that means. It is usually very narrow, might be limited to a certain number of hours, and might even exclude construction.
That means that if any of those workers gets hurt, the property owner is personally liable for the injury, there is no insurance coverage, the workers comp limits do not apply, so the damages are unlimited, and by statute the property owner is presumed to be negligent. The property owner can try to prove he was not negligent, but proving the negative is very difficult.
If the work costs more than $500.00, use a licensed contractor, not an unlicensed handyman. If you use a handyman to do more than $500.00 of work, know that your insurance does not cover any accident that happens to that person, and you are personally liable for all his injuries.
If you have any question about this, please call us.