In new contract forms coming online on June 1, 2014, repairs will now be required to be made by someone who is licensed to perform that type of work (or if the work does not require a license, by someone who is commercially engaged in the business). Prior to this change, agents typically inserted phrases such as “to be performed by a licensed contractor” but if they didn’t, the work could have been done by anyone. The buyer and seller can override this new rule by agreeing in writing that the repairs will be performed by an unlicensed person, but we would not recommend this. Who would you rather have working on your electrical system, a licensed electrician or someone’s Uncle Bob who swears he knows what he’s doing? Like most things in real estate contracts, the changes came about after one too many lawsuits over a shoddy repair done by someone who didn’t quite know what they were doing. Watching a marathon of This Old House does not make one an expert at repairs.
The new changes affect the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale), the Unimproved Property Contract, the New Home Contract (Incomplete Construction), the New Home Contract (Complete Construction), the Farm and Ranch Contract, and the Residential Condominium Contract (Resale). By requiring the seller to use licensed tradespeople for repairs, Texas hopes to eliminate some of the liability associated with repair amendments.
Repairs to be Done By Someone Who is Licensed
If you receive a request for repairs associated with a contract on your home, remember, even that simple repair on the leaky faucet that you could knock out in a few minutes cannot be performed by you or someone unlicensed unless both you (as the seller) and the buyers agree to it in writing.
image courtesy of infomatique