Have you ever heard the phrase “penny wise but pound foolish”? One common mistake is trying to save a little money by hiring an unlicensed contractor. In the end, the unlicensed contractor ends up costing a lot more money for the association.

My advice… Hire licensed and bonded contractors for projects that under Arizona law requires you to hire licensed and bonded contractors.

Check a vendor’s references, do financial research, check for licensing, type of bonds held, insurance coverage, check the Better Business Bureau, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors for licensing and the vendor’s complaint background. Additionally, investigate for technical training, certifications and any professional designations that are appropriate to the scope of work to be completed.

Arizona law requires contractors to be licensed through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

A.R.S. 32-1151 sets forth Arizona’s contractor licensing requirements. It is unlawful for a person to even submit a bid or respond to a request for a proposal for construction services without having a license. There is an exception known as the “Handyman Exemption” which is contained in A.R.S. 32-1121(A)(14).

A.R.S. 32-1121(A)(14) permits a person who does not hold a contractor’s license to bid and accept work when the job (contract price, labor and materials) amounts to less than $1,000.
Regardless of the job at hand, it is my opinion that it is best practice for the Association to hire a license and bonded contractor. Arizona Registrar of Contractors provides great information here.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractor’s Office has a user friendly website with great information. Check their site for license and bond information and for complaints or disciplinary action against a prospective contractor. Additionally, Community Association Institute’s Professional Service Directory is also a valuable resource!

For more information on the topic of choosing a contractor, we encourage you to watch Class #5 of our Spring 2021 Virtual HOA/Condo Academy where Beth Mulcahy, Esq. discussed Hiring, Firing and Everything In Between!