We hired a contractor, who said he was licensed/insured and had a license number on his business card. We paid him to start working on a wheelchair ramp, then expanded to fix the shower, toilet for wheelchair access and then to replace the carpet. His work inside the house was messy and he started asking for more and more money. I looked up his license number and it was expired in 1984 and didn't belong to him. We paid him about $9,000 so far, and his work inside the house is abysmal. The carpet is ripped and not sealed properly, the shower he built doesn't drain at all and the toilet stopped working, and water is leaking into the other rooms. We have large holes in the walls where he found mold as well, he removed it and never replaced it. My mother's wedding ring and some other personal valuables are also missing. We contacted the police and they said to sue him.
Hire a local litigation attorney as soon as possible. There are multiple grounds to sue at both equity and law, as well as other alternative avenues of recourse. Good luck to you.
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Because the contractor wasn't licensed, he isn't entitled to any monies.
You can sue for the full amount paid.
An unlicensed contractor is not entitled to any payment and cannot enforce any claimed contract. You can sue him for disgorgement (return of all monies paid) and also the cost to correct and repair. Small claims may be the best place for this dispute.
You can also report him to the CSLB.
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