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HOA hiring unlicensed contractors and employees without workman's comp.

Canoga Park, CA |

My HOA is continuously unlicensed contractor to save money. Workers are very unsafe and highly unskilled. HOA has stated to me they can't afford so I have to put up with unlicensed because licensed is way to expensive as "Board Director" stated.

What are my options as a homeowner? Can I sue?

Attorney Answers 5


You are right to be concerned because the HOA can be held liable for injuries and damages to workers who have no workers compensation insurance. Unlicensed contractors almost never have workers compensation insurance or liability insurance. If the unlicensed contractors damages landscape sprinklers or puts a nail through a pipe and floods a unit, the HOA will not be able to make a claim against that contractor's insurance because there is none. Individual tenants may be able to sue the HOA if they are damaged by the unlicensed contractor for not using a licensed contractor. You may want to write a certified letter to the HOA about your concerns to put them on notice. You can also turn the unlicensed contractors in to the CSLB. It's difficult because you still have to live and interact with the HOA.

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Sue for what? The problem is that Unlicensed Contractors leave the HOA at risk for Workers' Compensation if someone falls off a roof or loses a leg in a chainsaw accident. Those are 250K-2M problems that may not be reserved for in the Rainy Day Account. If they want to cheap out, they should make sure that the Complex has a WC policy in effect as a safety net. Otherwise, you are ALL at risk.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

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This is a sad situation, because even though you want to do the right thing, the only lawsuit likely to come out of this is one in which your homeowners' association is on the defendant side and you along with the other owners end up paying.

If there is a state law requiring the use of licensed contractors in this setting, or if the contractor is violating worker safety laws, you could blow the whistle on them.

Or you could run for a seat on the Board of Directors!

Disclaimer: This site exists to provide information only. It is not legal advice. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am a Massachusetts lawyer. Any information provided on this site does not, except as explicitly stated, imply familiarity with laws or procedures peculiar to your state which may differ from those where I practice.

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Besides Ms. Roher's suggestion to run for a board position, you have another option that seeks the same thing: With a HOA and a board, getting them to change a policy or practice is like a political campaign. You can raise these issues with other owner-members, get a petition together, consult with one or more board members and basically make a campaign of it. You can review the HOA by-laws for information about how decisions are made. Persuasion is the best approach here, because as noted, fighting the board will cost you along with everyone else. Good luck.

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Deborah Gwen Roher

Deborah Gwen Roher


All excellent ideas Deborah G. Roher, Attorney at Law 56 N. Main St. #413 Fall River, MA 02720 (508) 672-1383 phone (508) 672-1074 fax Using e-mail is inherently insecure. Confidential information, including account numbers, credit card numbers, etc., should never be transmitted via e-mail or e-mail attachment. Deborah G. Roher, Attorney at Law, is not responsible for the loss or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information sent to her via e-mail or attachment. This e-mail message is confidential and/or privileged and is for the use of the intended recipient only. All other use is prohibited.


The issue is what exactly u really want. To sue? To establish liability of the board directors ?
I think this is what u seeking. U want to see if all that create liabilities for them.
A responsible lawyer can help u. They need to read the CCR , HOA agreements or any other paper reflects the responsibilities of the decision makers and advise responsibly.
Most attorneys charge a reasonable fee.
Board of directors have no right to violate the law just to cut corners with their budget!
Why then we have laws and contractors licenses in the State of California?
Other states like NY do not have licensed Contractors to protect their resident from unscrupulous "contractors". As lawful citizens of the State of California we need to support the people that obey the Law and they pay taxes to our state ,they have bonds and pay workers Comp.
You need to be very very careful . Many fraud schemes come from "use and abuse of privately established HOA &CCRs" As a California Attorney and one of the very few that are Fraud Examiners ( CFE member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners ) i can help you. , and

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