—Not Liable in Cape May
“As to holding the management company liable for referring you to the contractor, I need to obtain more information before I can advise whether there is a claim. From your note, you state that the contractor was "unlicensed" but you do not state how that played any part in the injury or the claim. If the contractor had a history of bad acts and the property manager knew or should have known of the history, perhaps that would be relevant, but I do not fully understand the facts from the brief note provided.
“I note generally that the management company is a contractual agent of the association. Its duties are set forth in the contract between them and the board. I assume that the work was to the interior of the unit as opposed to a common area for which the association is responsible to maintain. If the repair or maintenance was to a common area, then the manager would have arranged for a contractor on behalf of the board. Accordingly, it is unlikely that the property manager is required within the scope of its duties to provide recommendations for vendors to be used by the homeowners in the repair or maintenance of the unit. However, you will want to obtain a copy of the management agreement to determine if such a duty exists. You should make a request for an opportunity to review the document according to the procedures for unit owner access to records established by your association.
“Finally, we would expect that a unit owner would execute a written contract with the contractor setting forth the scope of work, the cost, payment terms, the beginning and end dates and setting forth that the contractor was an independent contractor with his or her own worker's compensation and other insurance. Was there a written contract between you and the contractor? If so, we will look to its terms to guide our action.”