Homeowner trying to work under my permit

I have maintained a license for about 20 years but rarely pull permits. I work as an ordinary electrician for a midsized EC. My goal has always been to do a few word of mouth jobs a year to pay for my insurance and license renewal. A few times I have run into homeowners or their employees who try to do some electrical work while my permit is in force. If they ask permission I always refuse. A few times they have done it without asking. What recourse do I have when I discover this? It’s been awkward because it usually happens toward the end of a job and I want to get my final payment. Can I ask the city to withdraw my permit without completing the job?
Thanks for your advice.


Senior Member
Myrtletown Ca
Building Inspector
Can I ask the city to withdraw my permit without completing the job?
Yes!! As the person who pulled a permit you're absolutely allowed to withdraw the permit. Usually they want it in writing, and some will consider an email to be "in writing." I get a couple of those a year where a contractor decides to leave a job and they want to protect themselves. You're right to be concerned.

Dennis Alwon

Staff member
Chapel Hill, NC
Retired Electrical Contractor
I had one guy do that so I called the electrical inspector who went there and threatened to put a stop work order on the job. The guy pleaded with the inspector and promised not to touch the electrical again. I gave him a fair warning before he did it again and that was when I called it in.... I got paid too.. haha


Senior Member
Springfield, MA, USA
Electric motor research
I am not an EC. Honestly, I would be the customer asking to do work under your permit.

If I did work under your permit without your permission, I would be a dishonest crook. I'd expect you to either pull your permit, or do something with the inspection department to make exactly clear just what work was validly under the permit and what was unpermitted.

If you and I had an agreement that let me do part of the job, then I would expect at a minimum that you would have some charge to review any and all work that you didn't do, as well as a T+M agreement to correct any errors you found.



EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
As a LV contractor I've had the EC on the job include my work in his permit and inspection.

But I'm a pro and was just too lazy to pull my own permit and inspection... besides, my work made the EC look good. :rolleyes: