Hope for Unlicensed Contractors?

Judge Michelle Hotten's well-reasoned but unpublished opinion in the case of Glen Valley Builders v. Whang may finally offer hope for exploited unlicensed contractors. The Court of Special Appeals Judge recently authored an opinion for a three judge panel in a case where an unlicensed contractor sought to be paid for home improvement work guaranteed by a licensed new home builder. The facts of the case were unusual; however, what was significant was the Court's refusal to inequitably deny compensation to the builder merely because it had no license. The Court insisted that a balancing test be utilized which considered a number of factors, including: (1) whether the contractor held a valid license at the time of contracting; (2) whether the contractor readily secured a license; and (3) the responsibility and competence of the contractor. The Court went on to state that "each factor need not be present 'the true test is whether the contractor's substantial compliance with the licensing requirements satisfies the policy of the statute." Hopefully this is a vanguard case. All too often carpenters, masons and other construction workers effectively employed by crafty homeowners for what amounts to a low hourly wage are denied any money based on the no license technicality. Often these individuals are immigrants (many with poor English speaking ability) who are unaware of the licensing requirements. This exploitation should not be allowed to continue! 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Lead Counsel
  • MSBA
  • sl-badge
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Frederick Office
170 West Patrick Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Phone: 301-732-7675
Phone: 301-668-5111
Fax: 301-668-2770
Frederick Law Office Map

Silver Spring Office
12114B Heritage Park Circle
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906

Phone: 301-732-7675
Phone: 240-833-2284
Fax: 301-942-8296
Silver Spring Law Office Map

Upper Marlboro Office
14452 Old Mill Road
Suite #301
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Phone: 301-732-7675
Phone: 301-736-5432
Upper Marlboro Law Office Map