If a person does handyman work on occasion and gets paid fo

Submitted by Melly on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 01:41

If a person does handyman work occasionally and gets paid for doing it and catches a house on fire, what are the repercussions for the handyman? He does not have a company, he only does this for friends. He does not have insurance for his handyman work. Is his homeowners insurance liable and if not can he be sued? If he is sued what can they get if he only has enough money to live on and pay his bills?

Posted: 11 Jul 2008 08:25 Post Subject:

what are the repercussions for the handyman?

He can get sued by the property owner for the losses to the property and also for the injuries/casualties caused by the handyman.

If the handyman carries the handyman policy, these losses will then get covered by his insurer, otherwise he will remain exposed to pay the losses out of his pocket.

Posted: 11 Jul 2008 08:37 Post Subject:

Is his homeowners insurance liable and if not can he be sued?

Hi Melly, I think Melinda has already covered this aspect. You can get sued by the property owner.

Well, regarding the homeowners insurance, I'm presuming that you're referring to the property owner's HO policy then the answer is NO. The homeowner policy will not cover the damages caused by the handyman.

The homeowner insurer always require the insured to hire licensed and insured contractors for the jobs, and therefore will not covered the damages caused by an uninsured mechanic. The homeowner is therefore required to bear the entire cost of the losses, most he ca sue you for it.

Maybe you can take this as a lesson and carry the handyman's insurance henceforth.

Posted: 11 Jul 2008 09:00 Post Subject:

quite right, some homeowners policy specifically exclude damages caused by 'bootlegged' contractors. Your friend/neighbor really needs to contact his insurer immediately to find out the truth about his policy coverages.

If he is sued what can they get if he only has enough money to live on and pay his bills?

Let me tell you that the judgement only describes that you're liable to pay the other party for the damages. However, it doesn't ensure him the compensation.

The judgement holder can garnish your wage or worse can impose a lien on your real property. You can contact an attorney to understand your possibilities better. Tk cr.

Posted: 11 Jul 2008 02:18 Post Subject:

As mentioned, a personal property policy (homeowners, renters, etc) contains liability coverage but there is a business "work' exclusion.

Does he own a home or ever plan on owning a home? A judgment can be attached to it and it could not be sold until the judgment was satisfied.

Posted: 13 Jul 2008 12:31 Post Subject:

This is an interesting thread and the questions raised by the Original Poster are totally dependant on your state of domicile.

In Florida your Homestead is Florida Constitutionally EXEMPT from all judgments, liens or creditor claims EXCEPT:

#1) non-payment of property taxes;
#2) the mortgage on the property;
#3) contractor liens for improvements/repairs/labor on the property.

Outside of those three (3) things a Judgment Creditor cannot obtain a Writ of Execution on your Florida Homestead. And,... I don't know for a fact,... but I do not believe,... a contractor can force the sale of your Homestead in Florida to satisfy their judgment. They have to wait until you die or sell the property to collect.

Homestead; exemptions.--

(a) There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, except for the payment of taxes and assessments thereon, obligations contracted for the purchase, improvement or repair thereof, or obligations contracted for house, field or other labor performed on the realty, the following property owned by a natural person:

(1) a homestead, if located outside a municipality, to the extent of one hundred sixty acres of contiguous land and improvements thereon, which shall not be reduced without the owner's consent by reason of subsequent inclusion in a municipality; or if located within a municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or the owner's family;

All that being said......

If he is sued what can they get if he only has enough money to live on and pay his bills?


Posted: 14 Jul 2008 02:40 Post Subject:

I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure that if this person is not a licensed handyman and it's not his business, but he is just a friend doing work on your house that there is no reason you would not be able to sue him but as GarySpicuzza stated in the post before mine you probably won't get much.

If this truly is a friend of yours I would hope that the friend, being a handyman, would repair the damages. I hope you can remain friends through this. If he won't repair the damage is and/or you decide to file a lawsuit against him that would definitely put a strain on the friendship.

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