2 months ago
July 8, 2014
By Debby Abe
We can never say it enough: If you’re getting work done on your home, make sure your construction contractor is registered with the state.
A King County case shows what can happen if you don’t. According to criminal charges filed this week in King County Superior Court, a Seattle contractor gave two property owners estimates for jobs, one to repair a sewer pipe, another to install flooring. The same day, he accepted their checks as down payments and cashed them. That was the last the owners saw of the contractor, charging papers say.
He’s also charged with starting other jobs, then walking away without finishing them, all while being an unregistered contractor. (Read more about the case here.)
Working or offering to work as a contractor without being registered is a crime, a gross misdemeanor to be exact. It carries a penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Though hiring a registered contractor doesn’t guarantee you won’t have problems, it allows for some financial recourse if the project goes awry. Registered contractors must show L&I they have a bond, liability insurance and meet other requirements.
It’s easy to check if a contractor is registered with L&I. Go to Verify.Lni.wa.gov or call 1-888-811-5974.