Can an unlicensed contractor sue me?

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Can an unlicensed contractor sue me?

We hired a contractor (later found out he wasn’t licensed) to put up some chain link fence and horse stalls at our new house. Before bidding the job we told him on the phone we needed it done by our completion date and he agreed that wouldn’t be a problem at all. I wrote him a check for 50% ($1800). He is 3 weeks past the date we gave him and said he won’t be doing anything more to the job until he gets his other $1800. We told him he will be paid in full when the job in complete. Now he said he is going to us. Can he? He never finished the job.

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

EMMANUEL SOCKS / Socks Law Associates, PLLC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

He can sue, based on a claim of breach of contract. You can counter sue, on the same basis. Question becomes who is determined to be telling the truth (by the judge or the jury). The fact that he is unlicensed does not take away his standing to sue and be sued. You may have other causes of action if he misrepresented himself as licensed, when he was not. In Texas, a cause of action under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act would arise.


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