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Unlicensed Contractor

September 30, 1990

I feel it essential to comment on the letter in the Aug. 26 issue submitted by "23 members of the NARI" on unlicensed contractors.

My experience as an insurance underwriter is that there are perhaps as many incompetent licensed contractors as there are incompetent unlicensed contractors.

California law requires that any contractor for services where the amount for material and labor exceeds $300 must be licensed. No one can hold himself out as either a general contractor or an independent contractor unless licensed.

Simply stated, the law is that an unlicensed contractor is held to be an employee of whoever hires him, and this extends to any employees of the contractor. The owner who hires an unlicensed contractor had better make sure his own insurance policy will cover any injuries to the contractor, his employees and third parties. The owner should also insist on the unlicensed contractor having insurance.

One of the reasons that an unlicensed contractor can work cheaper is that many carry no insurance. HERMANN PAUL SCHLANDER

Palm Desert

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