Common interest communities, such as condominiums, must be careful about certain dangers when hiring contractors to work in their communities:
- Hiring members of the association to do work in order to save money is generally not a good idea. If a court makes a decision that the individual is an employee, even though the association considered him/her to be an independent contractor, and if that person gets injured on the job, and if the association has no worker’s comp insurance, there is no defense to a claim for injury. The sole question will be how much you have to pay.
- If you do not conduct a proper background check in advance, and the employee or contractor you hire (or his/her own employees) have criminal records or are sex offenders, the association may be held liable for its losses, as well as for any injury caused by negligence in bringing such a person into the community. Relying on recommendations is not enough. Due your due diligence.
- Hiring the lowest bidder does not necessarily guarantee the best for the community. The standard that is best is hiring the lowest responsible, qualified bidder. This means someone with good credentials and a history of quality work. This advice applies not only to hiring individuals, but also to hiring companies such as contractors, engineers, accountants, and attorneys.