The Danger of Unlicensed Contractors for your installation
As a licensed air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractor, our technicians are often called into homes where a system has broken down. After running diagnostics on the system, it is easy to see that the previous work was done wrong by an unlicensed worker. Sometimes the owner can no longer reach the person responsible for the installation and calls us in great frustration. Most of the time, the owner has already tried to obtain a repair reimbursed by the manufacturer, however when the owner mentions that the appliances were installed by a contractor who was not qualified, this one completely loses the guarantees.
There are many more stories like this and unfortunately, although there are laws and regulations against unlicensed contractors in most parts of Quebec, enforcement is often slow or non-existent. This leaves homeowners in precarious positions and often with appliances that no longer work.
As an air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractor we adhere to the rules and regulations adopted by our local government in order to work according to the rules in force. Many of these regulations are intended to protect homeowners from scrupulous and dishonest contractors. But, if the owner is unaware of the risks of using an unlicensed contractor, how can he make a good decision about hiring a company where workers have access to a house and its content, often with intimate knowledge of the residents?
All of our technicians are trained to answer questions and concerns to help homeowners feel comfortable using our company as their service contractor.
Here is a list of topics that technicians should discuss with owners in order to enforce the importance of licensing agreements.
Unlicensed contractors may not perform warranty work unless the manufacturer has agreed in writing to let a specific person perform the work. Be careful because some contractors subcontract work to unlicensed contractors. Ask for the license and make sure it lists the person doing the work. Unlicensed work on your system will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
How long ago was the company licensed? Is the company certified to perform warranty and installation work? With a licensed contractor, an owner will receive a warranty on the work performed and a warranty on the equipment. If these things are not offered, the owner could have a poorly done installation and even cause the system to malfunction. In the event that an electrical connection is incorrect, it may cause a fire.
Many homeowners don’t realize when they hire a cheaper, unlicensed contractor they may be liable if that worker falls or is injured while working on their property. Homeowners often think they’re getting a good deal on a repair or a new system. But, if a worker slips and falls on the job, the owner could be liable for the worker’s injury. So make sure that the contractor has liability insurance in good standing.
In our region, being a licensed contractor has its drawbacks when it comes to bidding on jobs. Unlicensed contractors don’t have to comply with laws, don’t have overhead, don’t pay workers’ compensation, and don’t offer insurance for their workers.