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Subject: Unlicensed & uninsured contractor
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Author Messages
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


09/08/2018 6:43 PM  
Our maintenance man has been working as an independent contractor here for over 5 years. His contracts have always said he is responsible for having his own liability and worker's comp insurance, as well as a valid county contractor's license. A few homeowners last week discovered he has neither. His contract also calls for him to receive no holiday or vacation pay and looking through the monthly financial reports showed that he got paid every 2 weeks like clockwork even though he took every holiday off and received a week's worth of vacation in June. The chair of the maintenance committee described that week as "comp time". Which I have never heard of for an independent contractor.

He wasn't here at all last Monday (Labor Day holiday), he was here for about 4 hours on Tuesday, not here again on Wednesday. He is said to have suffered a heart attack on Tuesday afternoon. Details are sparse due to medical privacy issues. The chair of the maintenance committee expects him to be here Monday morning and the first thing on his TODO list is to climb a ladder to paint some fascia boards on the clubhouse.

The entire board is aware of the situation and 4 of 6 are not inclined to do anything about it. The other 2 think he should have to present some sort of doctor's note clearing him for work. I think we should form a human chain and block him from entering the subdivision until he has a valid contractor's license and suitable insurance. Nobody seems to care that he's in breach of the contract.

To me this is instanity. This situation is bad, right? I ask because most people I've mentioned this to seem to smile and give me that old, "There you go again!" look. Is it just me and a handful of other owners overreacting?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16050


09/08/2018 9:50 PM  
Geno,

What you are describing sounds more like an employee then an independent contractor.

Concerning the pay, An independent contractor who is on site would have a set price and, if in the contract, receive payments in equal installments (hence the normal 2 week pay).

I wouldn't push it.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


09/08/2018 10:56 PM  
We think he is essentially an employee and the tax man would also come to that determination. He's makes the equivalent of $25 an hour for a 40-hour week but he's only here about 30 hours a week. When questioned about whether or not we're getting our money's worth, the answer from the old-timers who control the maintenance committee is always the same: "He's an independent contractor and we can't control his hours". He spends more time doing private side-jobs for homeowners (using association equipment and facilities) than he does doing work for the association. There is zero accountability for his time.

Paragraph 1, "Independent Contractor: Association hereby engages the Contractor as an independent contractor," and, "This Agreement shall not render the Contractor an employee of the Association for any purpose. Upon signing, the Contractor will furnish the Association a copy of his Contractor's license."

He does not now and never has had any type of contractor's license in this county.

Paragraph 6, "Insurance: The Contractor will carry liability insurance, to include workman's compensation, relative to any service that is performed for the Association and will submit a certificate of such insurance upon renewal annually."

He has no workman's comp policy. He has a general liability policy that specifically excludes climbing ladders, electrical work and working on roofs. He does all of that here at the direction of the maintenance committee ignoring the fact that his duties, as specified in the contract, don't include any of that. He re-wired some of our street lights a couple of weeks ago. In the spring his son helped him one week to do roof jack inspections for squirrel damage. The son doesn't hold a contractor's license, either, was not covered by any insurance, and is legally blind in one eye.

Either way I think no license and no insurance constitute material breaches of the contract. I find it hard to believe that we're not exposed to significant liability under this arrangement.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


09/08/2018 11:15 PM  
Here is what I found out after dealing with a unlicensed/uninsured contractor... The best approach is to contact the City's code enforcement or license department. They basically have to catch him red-handed in the act of committing the work. Just like the police, they have to see him do the "crime".

Now here is the rub... Do you set this man up for this? Is it right? Might want to ask license/code enforcement how to best handle the situation. Could the HOA be fined for hiring him?

We had a con-artist ex-president. He was the resident "Fix it man". A resident found out he was not licensed/insured and reported him. He then went around telling everyone this guy was a liar and was "crazy". Made sure no one would vote him on the board. Why? Because if he had gotten on the board, he would had stopped him from working in the HOA.

Let's just say that I forced him to get licensed/insured. Albeit it wasn't necessarily as a "handyman" but as a painter. So be careful of what those license dictate he can and can not do. He can have a roofing license but can he paint? It may be that one has to have a license for each trade they participate in.

Former HOA President
JenniferG12
(Texas)

Posts:103


09/09/2018 1:22 AM  


He has no workman's comp policy. He has a general liability policy that specifically excludes climbing ladders, electrical work and working on roofs. He does all of that here at the direction of the maintenance committee ignoring the fact that his duties, as specified in the contract, don't include any of that. He re-wired some of our street lights a couple of weeks ago. In the spring his son helped him one week to do roof jack inspections for squirrel damage. The son doesn't hold a contractor's license, either, was not covered by any insurance, and is legally blind in one eye.

Either way I think no license and no insurance constitute material breaches of the contract. I find it hard to believe that we're not exposed to significant liability under this arrangement.




If I were in your HOA, I would join your human chain. We need one too. We have a homeowner screwing with the water and no one stops him. He gets in the ground and experiments with which knob shuts off what water source.

He disagrees with the association's watering schedule. We're wasting it. He's a vigilante! No one seems worried about the liability issue either.

HOAs are insane places. I used to say 'We're all residents of a mental asylum but no one tells us. They let us in and out to keep the secret. The meds are in the HOA provided water'.

It could be true. Except the meds aren't very effective. I stay safe. Only bottled water for me.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16050


09/09/2018 5:18 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 09/08/2018 10:56 PM

When questioned about whether or not we're getting our money's worth, the answer from the old-timers who control the maintenance committee is always the same: "He's an independent contractor and we can't control his hours".




That would be correct.
As an independent contractor they are paid for the end result.


Posted By GenoS on 09/08/2018 10:56 PM

Either way I think no license and no insurance constitute material breaches of the contract. I find it hard to believe that we're not exposed to significant liability under this arrangement.




I agree.

Therefore, kindly ask for a copy of those things.
If he can not produce, then make a motion to the board that the individual be replaced.
(note, you may have to pay more for someone who is licensed and has the insurance).
PaaN


Posts:0


09/09/2018 5:46 AM  
Tim,

Are you stating that 'one gets what one pays for' ?

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


09/09/2018 5:03 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 09/09/2018 5:18 AM
(note, you may have to pay more for someone who is licensed and has the insurance).

And there's the rub. About a dozen homeowners hire him regularly to do private home improvement and repair jobs. Those owners defend him tirelessly. A couple of them are on the board and they weren't interested in any critical evaluation or discussion regarding his performance before voting to renew his 2-year contract at the end of last year. To me that seems like a conflict of interest and I'd prefer that any directors who hired this man for private work in the previous 12 months should recuse themselves from voting on the contract. Nope.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5957


09/09/2018 5:18 PM  
I agree with you, Geno. There IS a conflict of interest. I agree that your HOA is exposed to significant liability if the Board keeps him. And ALL wonrs could end up paying!
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:550


09/12/2018 7:29 AM  
Why did the BOD or Management company allow this man to perform any work in your community without getting copies of his credentials?? YES you are entitled to see them AND if he got hurt on your property, guess who could be liable..


I worked security in a HOA condo tower, and I saw it all. unit owners and unit renters that tried to skirt around the HOA's strict rules about unlicensed housekeepers from accessing the property. Cleaners would try to hide vacuums and cleaning supplies in rolling golf bag hard cases and such.

YES you as the board are entitled to have on file a copy of your vendors local business license, contractors license and workmans comp certificate. Protect your owners from potential liability.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


09/13/2018 6:06 PM  
Posted By LetA on 09/12/2018 7:29 AM
Why did the BOD or Management company allow this man to perform any work in your community without getting copies of his credentials?? YES you are entitled to see them AND if he got hurt on your property, guess who could be liable..

I worked security in a HOA condo tower, and I saw it all. unit owners and unit renters that tried to skirt around the HOA's strict rules about unlicensed housekeepers from accessing the property. Cleaners would try to hide vacuums and cleaning supplies in rolling golf bag hard cases and such.

YES you as the board are entitled to have on file a copy of your vendors local business license, contractors license and workmans comp certificate. Protect your owners from potential liability.



The liability issue is borderline keeping a few of us up at night. The board played ostrich because as near as I can tell, he was less expensive than hiring licensed and insured contractors. We saved money by keeping him around. Doing the right thing would have cost more money and Job #1 for the last 12 years of boards here was keeping monthly assessments as low as possible.

I found out yesterday that a homeowner discovered a small roof leak last week. She called the chair of the maintenance committee to report it. The next step should have been obtaining permission for the homeowner to engage a roofer to come in and fix the leak. Instead, the maintenance chair sent our unlicensed maintenance contractor to the woman's house to inspect the leak. He went up on the roof and provided an unqualified and wrong opinion on the problem, and later on that afternoon he had the heart attack. The homeowner was beside herself when she learned he doesn't have a license or insurance.

More people are waking up and seeing the risk of keeping him here. He may be here until the end of next January if the current board doesn't do anything about the situation. We've got our fingers crossed that he doesn't suffer a fatal heart attack while up on someone's roof before then. No one should have to live with that fear.
RoyalpitA


Posts:0


09/30/2018 4:12 PM  
Notify:

County 'Board of Licenses'

HOA Insurance Co.

IRS



stand clear of the 'contractor's' quick exit, you do not want to be 'run over'


KathleenM5
(Georgia)

Posts:1


10/13/2018 5:23 PM  
MOST PEOPLE WHO BUILD THE HOMES IN MY COMMUNITY WERE NOT AMERICAN!
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


10/13/2018 7:37 PM  
Posted By KathleenM5 on 10/13/2018 5:23 PM
MOST PEOPLE WHO BUILD THE HOMES IN MY COMMUNITY WERE NOT AMERICAN!

That's useful.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:812


10/13/2018 8:06 PM  
I’ll be more direct.

Kathleen should not be on this forum ... or, any other.
RoyalpitA


Posts:0


10/14/2018 6:13 AM  
Kathleen is INCORRECT.

Most people who build homes in the America are in fact American.

North American

Central American

South American



Many are colorless, black is actually the absence of color.

Some are colorful, white is the presence of all color.



However, they are all people with inalienable rights.



Has no one read "The Green Rain" by Paul Tabori ?

A hysterically funny damnation of prejudice.
RoyalpitA


Posts:0


10/14/2018 6:15 AM  
ps. we all know what she meant, I am merely correcting what she wrote
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


10/14/2018 9:29 AM  
Posted By KathleenM5 on 10/13/2018 5:23 PM
MOST PEOPLE WHO BUILD THE HOMES IN MY COMMUNITY WERE NOT AMERICAN!




OKKK
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:550


10/14/2018 9:33 AM  
How exactly was your HOA paying this guy?? was he given a paycheck? or was he given a check from the ledger? At the end of the year was he even given a 1099 or W2?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2525


10/14/2018 11:58 AM  
He receives a check mid-month and at the end of the month. He gets a 1099 at the end of the year.
RoyalpitA


Posts:0


10/14/2018 4:00 PM  
..... His contracts have always said he is responsible for having his own liability and worker's comp insurance, as well as a valid county contractor's license. A few homeowners last week discovered he has neither. .....


Then his contract should (else nonfeasance of the BOD) be terminated for cause.

Simple.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:550


10/14/2018 8:48 PM  
What RoyalPITA said, he's in breach of contract with you, and if you continue to let him perform work in your community knowing he isn't licensed, insured and bonded your owners aren't going to be very happy if this guy gets injured in your community.
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