Many landlords hire freelancers or unlicensed contractors to work on their Orange County rental properties. Most of the time it works out just fine, but when things go south, as they often do, a nightmare may unfold. By hiring an inexperienced freelancer, owners forgo basic legal protections, exposing their property to a loss in value, costly lawsuits, repairs and tenant dissatisfaction.

State Oversight
Licensed contractors have oversight by the State of California providing protection for the landlord by requiring criminal background checks, liability insurance, and if necessary, workers compensation insurance, among other requirements. Non-contractor professionals will have the same insurance providing owner protection and quality work.

Inexperienced or Unlicensed
Freelancers tend to disappear when things go wrong. By hiring an inexperienced or unlicensed person, owners are venturing into dark water where the only loser is the property owners and their Orange County rentals. Stick with professionals for a professional result… They’re not the least expensive but you’ll save more in the long run.

Owner’s Liability
Freelancers without insurance are an employee, not a contractor. So, if they are hurt in the course of working for the owner, the owner could be liable for tort damages. At the very least, this requires the funds to defend a lawsuit. At worst, the property owner could end up paying the injured employee’s medical bills and lost wages. In either case, your insurance should cover injury, but then premiums skyrocket.

Shoddy Work
Aside from the potential legal costs associated with hiring inexperienced freelancers, there is also real monetary cost. The freelancer’s shoddy work—whether deliberate or due to poor skills—could force you to hire a professional to do far more costly repair work. 

Fortunately, most Orange County property managers choose quality over quantity.

Conclusion
It is important to remember that while it’s far more common among low-cost freelancers, not all licensed contractors are ethical and provide competent work either. However, more success is afforded to property owners who hire professionals and pay the extra dollars for quality… Most Orange County property managers choose quality of quantity.

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