Q: I hired a licensed general contractor to build my house. He let his license expire. Do i owe him money ?
A: Whether or not you owe the general contractor money would depend on the terms of your contract with them. If your contract specifically required the contractor to maintain a valid license during the course of the project, and they failed to do so, you may be able to argue that they breached the contract and may not be entitled to payment. However, if the contract did not include any such requirement, you may still be obligated to pay them for the work they performed. It would be best to consult with an attorney who can review your contract and advise you on the best course of action.
The general rule in North Carolina is that a person who provides contracting services without the required license is not entitled to be paid for those services. Essentially, the contract for those services is illegal and, therefore, unenforceable.
However, there is an exception to this rule based on "substantial compliance" with the licensing requirements. The "substantial compliance" exception could apply if a person performing contracting services is properly licensed, the license lapses, and the person (quickly) renews the license.
Your answer will depend on the specific facts of your case. So, you may want to speak with an attorney who is familiar with the nuances of North Carolina construction law.
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