Why should I hire a licensed contractor?
Contracting by unlicensed entities occurs every day and all too often the consumer loses hundreds or even thousands of dollars. What's worse, you, as the property owner, have no recourse through Arizona ROC (Registrar of Contractors) if you hire an unlicensed entity.
Hiring a licensed contracting professional offers many additional protections to the property owner, especially regarding residential property. First, a contractor cannot obtain a license without possessing a minimum amount of experience and must pass a business management test.
The applicant is also subjected to a criminal history background check, required to take a trade examination, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding.
Should you experience problems with a licensed contractor, you as a residential property owner have significant protections not available to persons utilizing an unlicensed entity. Among them, is the ability to file a complaint against the contractor's license within a two-year period from the date of occupancy or date the last work was performed. This is the Agency's jurisdiction period should the workmanship be below standard or in violation of existing codes.
Under certain conditions, you may also be eligible to apply to the Registrar's Residential Contractors' Recovery Fund and depending on the cost of damages receive up to $30,000 to have the work corrected or completed.
Each residential contracting license is covered for up to $200,000.00 to a maximum of $30,000.00 per residential property owner, on a pro rata basis upon filing a complete claim.
Keeping detailed records of your contract, checks or other forms of payment will speed the processing of your claim, should the need arise.
For more detailed information, contact the Residential Contractors' Recovery Fund Monday through Friday during regular business hours at (602) 542-1525 or from elsewhere in the state at 877-MY AZROC (877-692-9762), toll free.
These protections are in addition to other remedies available through the courts.
Just because the ad says it! ... does NOT mean it's true!
An unlicensed entity may be a company or individual. To be a contractor in Arizona, an entity must be licensed. To be licensed, an entity must possess a bond; among other requirements. With the exception of workman's compensation insurance, the ROC (Registrar of Contractors) does not require an entity to possess insurance to be licensed.
Many complaints about unlicensed entities are received where the home or business owner believed they had contracted with a Licensed, Bonded and Insured contractor, but they had not.
The ads that appear in the yellow pages and related advertising are not regulated by the publisher, and should be considered accurate only about the name of the company or individual and the phone number to call. The only sure way of knowing that your contractor is licensed is to call the Registrar of Contractors to confirm it or by checking on line or you can click, here (Registrar of Contractors).
With the technology available today, the local phone number you think you are calling may be answered by a telemarketer in some other state. Such operations may not even be licensed in Arizona, and you might be paying thousands of dollars down on work that will never be performed or completed.
Nothing in the law prevents a property owner from building or making improvements to structures or appurtenances on his or her own property, and do the work themselves, or with their own employees or with a duly licensed contractor as long as certain conditions are met:
The work is intended for occupancy solely by the owner and is not intended for occupancy by the public, by employees or business visitors.
The structure or appurtenances are not intended for sale or rent for a period of at least one year from the date of completion or issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
This section of the statute is intended to ensure that potential buyers, renters, employees or business visitors to a premise are not put in jeopardy. In such situations where the structures or appurtenances will be utilized by or open to the public, their health, welfare and public safety must be protected, and licensed contractors must be utilized to complete the project.
Also, you must keep in mind that you are still subject to compliance with local permit and building code requirements.
Homeowner Associations may also place restrictions on what you may build, and how it can be constructed in accordance with your Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, (CC&R’s).