When hiring a handyman, lots of folks ask: Are you licensed? That’s a good question. Licensing indicates whether the handyman is trying to abide by the current laws—or not. The interesting thing is that handyman licensing varies from state to state. In Michigan where LansingHandyman.com is based, there is no requirement for handymen to be licensed.

However, Michigan DOES require any contractor that does work over $600 to have a license.

There are several implications to this law. If you hire a handyman without a builder license that does over $600 in work, and you do not pay, the handyman can legally place a lien on your property. On the other hand, if the work is over $600 and the handyman does not have a license, and you do not pay, the unlicensed handyman cannot place a lien.

Now, let’s say the work is in the tens of thousands, the contractor is not licensed and you are not happy with the work. Then you turn to the state for help—like filing a complaint to the Consumer Affairs division, or the Licensing Bureau. You know what? The state will not help and neither will the courts. Why?

Because—you–as a general contractor hired someone who was unlicensed. The state believes that you have the responsibility to do your due diligence and hire someone who is licensed, insured and qualified. That’s why it is important to do your homework and hire the right people.

Often, people will hire someone “cheap” thinking that they are “getting a deal.” The reality may be that they are really hiring someone who is unlicensed and uninsured and may or may not know the laws in the state where they live. In a worst case scenario, they are hiring a rip-off artist. Most of the time, the problems arise when neither the customer nor the contractor know the law.

Now let’s talk about insurance. Should a handyman be insured? The short answer is YES! If the contractor that you hired to work on your property falls off your roof and is hurt. There will be healthcare costs that need to be paid by someone.

In Michigan, the homeowner is considered to be the general contractor. That means the homeowner is responsible for all “sub-contractors” that work on his/her property. When a contractor is hired by the homeowner, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ask the contractor for evidence of his insurance.

If the homeowner does not ask, and contractor does not have any insurance and there problems that arise later, the homeowner will not have the support of the state or the courts in their favor. Let me re-emphasize: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to know if their contractor is insured!

Lansing Handyman Service is a licensed builder in the state of Michigan and is fully insured with liability, work comp and property damage. We do work throughout the greater Lansing Michigan area. Visit our website to learn more about our handyman services and how we can assist.