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?
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. 09.08.01.08. ("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).
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