Freelance handymen’s days may be numbered |

Freelance handymen’s days may be numbered

Staff Reports

YERINGTON – Handymen may be stepping over the bounds of the services they can provide, an area businessman claims.

Silver Springs resident Bert Reed said handymen are blatantly breaking the law by doing repairs they are not licensed to do.

“They thumb their noses at the county because they have nothing to lose. They are bringing down my workload in my own area,” said Reed, who owns a licensed home-repair business. “The rules are not being enforced. We should be able to punish them more expediently. If I break the law, I lose my licenses.”

A handyman is defined as someone working out of their home on an hourly basis. They must have a county business license and are restricted as to what repairs they may make.

According to County Business License Deputy Pam Rodeman, the only repairs a licensed handyman may do on a manufactured home is painting and carpeting.

“Conventionally built home repairs by handymen are limited to things most of us could do ourselves, such as changing light bulbs or the plates covering electrical outlets,” Rodeman added.

Rodeman said allegations of violations must be made in writing before a cease and desist order will be issued and followed up on.

Representing the Manufactured Housing Association, Jim Snellings said the problem comes with how handymen advertise for jobs.

“They advertise they are licensed, but don’t say it is just a business license. They are going into areas where they should be licensed by Manufactured Housing,” Snellings said. “The consumer is the one who ultimately pays when the work is done wrong and can’t pass inspection.”

According to Rodeman, there are currently 58 handyman licenses in Lyon County. Without the resources to check each advertisement and job, county officials say that monitoring the problem is difficult. Adding to the problem, many residents reading an advertisement listing a repairman’s county business license number do not realize that the repairman has no authority to do certain repairs without a specific contractor’s license.

Reed has asked county officials to put a stop to violations of the law by repairmen holding handyman licenses.

Commissioners said they will look into possible options and schedule a future meeting on the subject.