Unlicensed contractors in Florida are a growing concern for homeowners, businesses, and the state as a whole. An unlicensed contractor is an individual or a company that does not hold a valid license to operate as a contractor in the state of Florida. These unlicensed contractors typically advertise their services online or through door-to-door solicitation, often offering services at a lower price than licensed contractors.
Unlicensed contractors tend to come out in Florida after a weather event. This has been the case with Hurricane Ian. According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, illegal activity by unlicensed contractors, including fraud, has been on the rise. Fortunately, there have been several arrests in the Central Florida area.
In the fiscal year after Hurricane Irma, consumers made 315 more unlicensed activity reports compared to non-hurricane years. In the fiscal year after Hurricane Michael, there were 459 more reports of unlicensed activity. Agency officials say they expect the number to be much higher post-Hurricane Ian.
Risks of Unlicensed Contracting
The risks associated with hiring an unlicensed contractor in Florida are numerous. Unlicensed contractors are not held to the same standards and regulations as licensed contractors. They usually do not carry the proper insurance or have the necessary training and experience to complete a job effectively. This can result in shoddy workmanship, property damage, and even personal injury.
Additionally, unlicensed contractors often do not obtain the required permits for their work, which can lead to legal trouble for the property owner. They may also not be aware of local building codes and regulations, which can lead to safety issues and further legal problems down the line.
The state of Florida takes the issue of unlicensed contractors seriously and has implemented strict laws and regulations to combat this problem. Under Florida law, anyone who performs construction work for compensation must be licensed. Failure to obtain a license can result in fines and even criminal charges.
What You Can Do
Homeowners can protect themselves from unlicensed contractors by verifying a contractor’s license status before hiring them. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation maintains an online database of licensed contractors that can be easily searched. The agency is dedicated to investigating unlicensed activity and will take action against those found to be in violation of the law.
It is also important to ask for references, proof of insurance, and a written contract before hiring any contractor. By working with licensed and qualified contractors, you can ensure that your property is protected and that the job is completed to the highest standards.
Contact Us Today
Unlicensed contractors in Florida pose a significant risk to property owners. It is important to know how to spot them and turn them in so they can avoid victimizing others.
If you have been a victim of an unlicensed contractor, contact a Lakeland unlicensed contracting & fraudulent liens lawyer from Ruel Law Firm. We can protect your legal rights and keep you from being taken advantage of. Schedule a consultation today by calling (833) RUEL-LAW or filling out the online form.