4 Common Subcontractors Licensing Violations

Several states require subcontractors to be licensed in order to perform certain services. In New York, asbestos handling contractors and crane operators need to be licensed at the state level while general contractors must be licensed if they work in Buffalo, New York City, and/or in the counties of Nassau, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester. In Florida, there are two main types of contractors: registered, which is the license to work at the local level, and certified, which allows a contractor to work anywhere in the state.

Unfortunately, some subcontractors violate the terms of their license. Below is an overview of four common license violations and the corresponding penalties.

1. Failure to Satisfy Civil Judgments

If a subcontractor becomes subject to a civil judgment relating to their profession, they must satisfy it within a reasonable time. 

  • In Florida, the Construction Industry Licensing Board defines a “reasonable time” as 60 days following the entry of the judgment, unless that judgment is appealed. 
  • In New York, the time limit is 30 days for judgments that the subcontractor does not appeal. 

If they fail to satisfy the judgment or work out a payment plan, they violate the terms of their license agreement and are subject to appropriate penalties.

2. Violating Building Codes

Building code violations are another common subcontractor licensing violation. In Florida, a local construction regulation board can suspend, revoke, or deny a contractor’s ability to obtain a building permit if they are found guilty of fraud or an intentional building code violation. In New York City, any contractors who violate building laws can be fined up to $1,000 and/or have their license suspended.

3. Abandoning Construction Projects

Subcontractors who “walk off the job” violate the terms of their license in most states. In Florida, a construction project is considered abandoned after 90 days if the contractor ends it without just cause or fails to notify the owner. The customer may then be eligible for compensation from the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund. In New York City, a contractor who abandons the job site can have their license revoked by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

4. Operating Without a License 

Contractors must be qualified to perform construction services. In Florida, any unqualified contractor can face penalties such as criminal and administrative sanctions and loss of lien rights. In New York City, any home improvement contractor who performs work costing over $200 must be licensed. If they aren’t, and they accept higher-value contracts, they can be fined and, in some cases, charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Contact a Construction Law Attorney

When you’re a project owner, few situations are more frustrating than dealing with subcontractors whose licensing violations impact the timeline or the quality of the work. At Rosen Law, LLC, our construction law attorneys represent clients in defective construction claims, actions based on contractor irresponsibility, and related situations involving subcontractor misconduct. To schedule a consultation or get more information, please contact us today.

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