Is a condominium HOA liable for injuries or death due to an unlicensed contractor that is employed by a unit owner?

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Is a condominium HOA liable for injuries or death due to an unlicensed contractor that is employed by a unit owner?

Asked on February 21, 2013 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this question is "maybe."  The question implies a complicated situation.  Was there really an injury or death, or is this a hypothetical question?  If it is real, then how did the unlicensed contractor cause the injury or death?  How good is the proof of this - is there a clear, unquestionable connection between the contractor's actions and the injury or is the connection subject to dispute and a bunch of defenses?  Was the injured person at fault or partially at fault?  Did the absence of a license directly cause the injury?

In general, for the HOA to be liable, it would have to breach some duty that it owed.  This usually arises when a HOA does not enforce its own rules & regulations.  It is important to enforce those.  For example, if the rules say owners must employ licensed contractors, don't let unlicensed contractors work on the property - insist on getting their license number or seeing the license.  If the rules say owners must have insurance, be sure to insist that they have insurance.  It would be a good idea to insist that all contractors have insurance and are bonded.  These things would protect the HOA from liability.  There is no strict liability for the acts or omissions of a contractor hired by an owner.

I hope this helps answer your question.

 


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