Good contractor but a little sketchy

6 Replies

I've had a licensed contractor doing handyman jobs on a property. I want to use him for a full gut reno but I have some concerns:

-he doesn't have a bank account and can't get one

-if I pay him by check, he can't cash it

-he writes contracts on a lined notebook (he has nothing with his company info on it)

He professional and do good work but he's not business savvy. How have you handled this situation (besides getting another contractor)?

There are certainly some red flags there. For a major remodel, you need to ensure your contractor is licensed and insured. Especially in a highly regulated state like CA, I am sure there are laws saying that contractors have to be licensed to do certain work. 

Having the contractor is important for a case where there is an accident on the work site, say the contractor falls off a ladder and injures himself. If he is properly insured, his company's insurance will cover any claims and you as the home owner will not be liable. 

I would hard pass on this guy and keep him in his lane. Since he does good work keep him happy with the odd jobs but nothing more. You're talking >$1K jobs compared to $10K+, it's a whole new level of time management and coordination of people. Find another licensed contractor with a bank account.  

I'd pass on this guy for this job, but can't he walk into the bank branch you write your checks from and cash them there (if he has a valid state ID).

Good Luck!


I once had a client let a tenant (who was a contractor) do some work to make up back rent.  The tenant presented him with a worker's compensation claim.  He had no worker’s compensation coverage so he had to retain a lawyer at his expense. Thankfully the claim was miss filed and later determined to be false.  

It points out the danger of using this “handyman” even for the small work.  You can be fairly sure that he does not have medical insurance.  If he gets injured, you will end up with a claim.

you need to use a licensed & insured contractor or get a policy for Workers Comp for your business.  

Good luck on the project

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here