Where a homeowner paid an unlicensed contractor for landscaping work at his home, his knowledge that the contractor was not licensed when work commenced did not bar an action for full reimbursement under Business and Professions Code Sec. 7031(b), and the homeowner was entitled to recover the total amount paid even though the contractor was licensed during a portion of the work. The homeowner was also entitled to recover payments for materials retained by him, in addition to payments for labor.
This applies to California Community Associations who hire contractors and then find out they are not licensed. This may sound unfair, but the penalty is designed to discourage unlicensed contractors from performing contracting work.
Click here for the full text of the Alatriste v. Cesar’s Exterior Designs, Inc. case recently decided by the California Court of Appeal.