By Alexander Barthet

Depending on the state, a licensed qualifier can qualify one or more companies as long as the qualifier has a supervisory role over the work of the company he or she is qualifying. If the qualifying agent does not have final approval authority on contracts, specifications, checks, drafts or payments of the company being qualified, then, at least in Florida, the company must also appoint a “financially responsible officer” to be properly qualified.

So can an owner of a home which was defectively built sue the qualifying agent as well as the contractor? Generally not – there is no right to sue a qualifying agent based only on that person’s status as a qualifying agent for a company. A complaining party can report an agent who is not fulfilling his or her duties to the Division of Professional and Business Regulation (DBPR) which in turn could sanction, fine, or reprimand the agent, and even suspend or revoke that agent’s license. If, on the other hand, the qualifier can be shown to have been negligent in not properly or adequately supervising the construction process and thus cause a personal injury, then that agent may be successfully sued.

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