Oregon Contractor Laws Part 1 – Contractor Requirements and Lien Law
Part 1 in our four-part series on Oregon Contractor Laws.
Millard: Hi, I’m Fred Millard, I’m a Portland attorney and I’m with the firm Millard and Bragg and I want to talk to you today about Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board. This is a very important agency, it’s a consumer protection agency that Oregon has created to protect the public from what possibly could be unscrupulous contractors.
What are the requirements for a contractor to practice their trade in Oregon?
Millard: Under Oregon Law every contractor, whether it’s a painting contractor, roofer, lectures from plumber, general contractor, whomever, is required to be licensed and bonded. What does that mean? In Oregon there are two types of contracts, there are prime contractors and there are specialty contractors. When you hire a contractor to remodel your home, your small business, your office, whatever, the contractor is obligated to be licensed generally. That type of contractor is going to be licensed as a primary contractor. A primary contractor is required under Oregon state law to post a 20 thousand dollar surely bond. The purpose of that bond is to protect you the property owner from claims that arise either against your contractor or as a result of your contractor, I’ll get to that in a moment, and allows you a pocket, so to speak, to recover damages that are results of actions or inappropriate actions taken by your contractor.
What is construction lien law?
Millard: Under Oregon law as well as most other states, probably every state in the United States, is construction lien law. What that means is that if your contractor doesn’t pay a subcontractor or doesn’t pay for materials that the contractor bought, or bought on credit that is, you as the homeowner or the property owner could potentially end up liable even though you already paid your contractor. How does that happen? Well, amazingly, it happens more often than one wants the think.