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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Experienced in general consumer protection law
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Is a contract signed by the salesman of a contractor whose

Resolved Question:

Is a contract signed by the salesman of a contractor whose license ( salesman ) expired by more than 3 months can be considered as invalid?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

Although the contractor could not legally perform the work, that does not invalidate the contract if it is otherwise valid. If the salesman held himself as representing the contractor, then that salesman is an agent under the law. An agent under the law has the authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the contractor. Thus, the contract would generally be considered valid. However, the contractor would not generally have a remedy against the other party if there is a breach by the other party because the contractor cannot legally perform the work. The reverse would not be true, the other person would be able to sue the contractor for breach (but of course that person would not really want the contractor to perform any work if the contractor is unlicensed).

TMcJD :

The following article does go into some detail on this matter:

TMcJD :

http://www.cbia.org/go/cbia/california-builder-magazine/current-issue/understanding-californias-contractors-license-laws/

TMcJD :

Please let me know if I can provide additional assistance. If not, I would be grateful if you could please leave me a positive rating. I cannot receive credit for my work without your positive rating and that is the sole means of compensation for JustAnswer experts. Thanks.

Customer: We have other grounds to want the contract to be terminated ( communication, quality of work...) just would like to know if this is an additional argument and how much wait does it has in court?
Customer: Weight (sorry)
TMcJD :

I assume, then, that you're the other party and not the contractor. The contractor cannot enforce the agreement against you so there's no reason you cannot just walk away. You could also make a complaint with the Board.

Customer: Walk away, by just saying the contract is invalid or building a case with other arguments?
TMcJD :

By arguing it is unenforceable by the contractor.

TMcJD :

You could also base a void contract argument on fraud - that they represented they were licensed and they were not.

Customer: The contractor was licensed OK, but the salesman that signed the contract was not. You understand?
TMcJD :

Okay, that was not clear to me. Do you have a reason to believe some licensing requirement was not met by the salesperson?

Customer: absolutely I contacted the Board of contractor and notice the the license of their salesman was expire by mor than 3 months and BtW the salesman no longer work s with company
TMcJD :

Okay, thanks. since he was unlicensed, that still prevents the company from obtaining compensation for any work performed. Plus, you still have the fraud claim to void the contract if the person represented himself as licensed.

TMcJD :

And, again, you can file a complaint with the Board (and you probably should that).

Customer: Yes I will, but I wanted to know the power of the argument of an unlicensed salesman on the unforcability of the contract
Customer: Are you gone?
TMcJD :

It would have weight in court, but something that I have not seen specifically addressed in court opinions is whether the unlicensed salesperson is simply prohibited from obtaining compensation for his services (and the licensed contractor still could) or whether the contract entered into by the unlicensed salesperson also prevents the licensed contractor from obtaining compensation. Either way, as originally noted the contract is not invalid because of the lack of a license -- it simply can act as a shield to the contractor (or salesperson) from obtaining compensation. Thus, to argue the invalidity of the contract, you would need to base it on a fraud argument. Plus, if you have grounds under the terms of the contract for termination, then those would also be important (in the event the fraud argument fails).

Customer: Ok, so it is not 100%sure but it should help should we go to court. However I hope it will constitute enough of a threat to the contractor to negotiate an end of the contract. What do you think?
TMcJD :

Yes, absolutely it is enough (with your other arguments) to hopefully force a negotiation for termination without having to resort to expensive court action. It definitely strengthens your position.

Customer: Ok thank you I appreciate your input
TMcJD :

You're very welcome. I'm glad I could help. Please let me know if I can assist you with anything in the future. Have a great day!

Customer: Thanks. I rated excellent
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6515
Experience: Experienced in general consumer protection law
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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD
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Experienced in general consumer protection law