Do I have the right to choose the contractor?

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Do I have the right to choose the contractor?

I own a commercial rental (now a barbershop). The adjacent property is a used car lot. The lot’s employee backed a car into my building destroying one wall, electrical & gas line damage. Now the owner is trying to hire some unlicensed workers to do repairs. Can i pick the contractor?

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You probably don't have the right to pick the contractor, unless your lease gives you that right;  I'm guessing that it doesn't, both because I've never seen a lease provision like that for an outside wall, and because the repairs are the landlord's obligation, not yours.  However, I'm not a California attorney, and the law does differ at times from one state to another.  For advice you can rely on, you need to talk to a lawyer in your area, who can review your lease and all of the facts.  One place to find a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Of course, you're worried about problems with the electrical and gas lines, if they aren't repaired properly.  I have a very strong feeling that your local or county government's construction official or building inspector might understand your worries completely -- and that he might have something to say about this if he knows about the situation, since most states have laws that require licensed contractors to do work like this.  You should be able to find the telephone number fairly easily, on the web or in your telephone book.


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