Bethesda, MD asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Maryland

Q: Is it legal for a licensed contractor to work without obtaining permit where required by law in Maryland?

I signed a contract to install a concrete slab with flagstone. Also stairs that go up to the second floor of my house. It's come to my attention that this work requires a permit. Is the contractor responsible for pulling those permits? I was never informed it is required by law.

I am in the process of filing a complaint to the MHIC guarantee fund because the work is a hazard. I had my hearing, and thats where I found out no permits were pulled.

Is it legal for a Licensed contractor to perform work that requires a permit without obtaining one?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: NO. It is the non-delegable obligation of the contractor to apply for and obtain all necessary permits required by law, per C.O.M.A.R. ("Code of Maryland Regulations"--the MHIC promulgates regulations under the Home Improvement Law, and COMAR is where all such regulations appear). Failure to do so makes the work illegal, and therefore, makes the performance "incomplete or unworkmanlike" and a violation of the law. Get a certified letter from the permitting office that (1) a permit is required to perform the various work described in your contract; and (2) no permits were applied for or obtained. Use that as evidence at the hearing. In order to prove damages, you must obtain three estimates by MHIC licensed contractors as to the cost to repair, replace and finish the work under the scope of work of the original contract (do NOT add or change the scope of work or materials, unless a comparison value is also provided to show what the difference is from the original contract).

Rolanzo Richard White agrees with this answer

2 users found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.