Beware of Unlicensed Activity
CONSUMERS NEED TO BE INFORMED IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEMSELVES
“…unlicensed contractors can underbid licensed contractors, stealing jobs. What many consumers don’t know is that the reason they can underbid could be because they’re not paying state-required worker’s compensation or liability insurance. In addition, they may not be able to pass the background check, meet training and experience requirements, and can’t meet financial requirements. Ultimately, the consumer can end up paying dearly when he thought he was saving a buck or two.”
Charles W. Drago, Secretary, FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
Click here for Contractor License Search on DBPR
Watch and learn about a real case of the consequences of unlicensed activity to an unsuspecting single Mom in Sarasota County, FL.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOU - THE CONSUMER
An occupational license is NOT a license to perform contracting work. A Handyman is not a licensed contractor and CANNOT obtain permits. ALWAYS check with your local building department. Make sure that your contractor has a license from Lake or Sumter County Building Divisions or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. It is AGAINST THE LAW to hire unlicensed contractors and stiff penalties could apply. Report unlicensed activity toll free to 866-532-1440.
WARNING SIGNS TO HELP YOU AVOID UNSCRUPULOUS ACTIVITY
1. Large down payment is requested
2. You are asked to pull the necessary permits
3. You are told no permit or insurance is needed
4. Failure to provide you with proof of insurance
5. Wants to do work after hours or on weekends
6. No contractor license number on vehicle (Remember an occupational license IS NOT a contractor's license)
7. Wants to be paid in cash or as an individual instead of a business.
Don't forget, you have no legal recourse when you use an unlicensed contractor (knowingly or unknowingly to do work on your home). It's just not worth it to "save" a few bucks by risking your home.
WANT MORE HELP TO CHECK OUT A CONTRACTOR LICENSE?
Call the Lake County Building Division to check if the person is licensed or if there are complaints against the license. Hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday - (352) 343-9653. In Sumter County, call (352) 689-4460 between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm.
The Home Builders Association checks contractor licenses before accepting a contractor as a member. Refer to the HBA member directory, which is updated regularly.
REPORT UNLICENSED ACTIVITY IN LAKE AND SUMTER COUNTY
If you see work going on without a permit and with no contractor's license number on the side of the work vehicle, then report it. The Lake County Department of Conservation and Code Enforcement is ready to investigate reports of unlicensed activity in unincorporated Lake County. Citizens may report the activity anonymously by phone (352)-343-9639. In Sumter County call (352) 689-4460.
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