Is Simply Hiring a Contractor "Being" a contractor?

Asked 8 months ago - Walnut Creek, CA

I hired a contractor to do some improvement for a friend.
I did not do any of the work and I did not supervise the work.
But I did hire the people and paid them.

Now I have asked my friend for the money I spent. It was around twenty thousand.

My friend was upset at the quality of the work and did not want to pay the full amount.

I am not a contractor and I was wondering if I should just take the deal because I will have a hard time in court.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Nichelo Michael Campbell

    Contributor Level 11

    3

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    Answered . I think any marginally competent construction law attorney could successfully argue you were performing functions as a contractor and are not entitled to any compensation, including any money you were already paid and including money paid by you to the other contractors. I'd take whatever he's offering you and pray he doesn't start doing research about the ramifications for unlicensed contractors.

  2. Paul Bradley Schroeder

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would need to see the contracts with the contractors. Were they licensed?

    If I were representing you, I would argue you were loaning your friend the money, and he now needs to pay back the loan. If he has a beef, he should take it up with the contractors.

    There is an argument you were acting as a general contractor and hiring subs. It is difficult to analyze that issue without knowing more facts. If you were acting as an unlicensed general contractor, then you are not entitled to be paid anything at all.

    I am sure I do not need to tell you what the real lesson here is.

  3. Rogelio O. Vega

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you were acting as a general contractor without a license, the owner could sue you for all of the money he has already paid you. Including materials and services. Also, because it's a home improvement project there are restrictions on down payments. You should consult an attorney ASAP.

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