Some of the risks for using an unlicensed contractor
The following is a few of the things you need to know concerning the use of an unlicensed contractor.
* According to Florida Statute 455.228, if you hire an unlicensed contractor, the Department of Professional Regulations (D.P.R.) may issue a cease and desist order and also may take you to Circuit Court, which has the authority to impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for aiding and assisting unlicensed activity. You could also be liable for court cost.
* If you pull a permit for an unlicensed contractor, you are held responsible for the work, not the contractor.
* If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you may actually pay more for the job, than if you hired a licensed contractor. Especially, if the work is done incorrectly or never finished, you may have to pay twice or more for the same job to be corrected or finished.
* If the unlicensed contractor fails to pay his sub-contractors or suppliers, you may be required to pay them, even though you have already paid the contractor.
* Plumbing, electrical, and heating and air conditioning work should be done only by contractors and craftsmen certified in those trades and require separate permits.
* Home improvement contractors must be certified by the State of Florida as either a General, Building, or Residential contractor.
* Roofing contractors are required to be certified or registered by the State.
* There is no such thing as a “legal” jack-of-all-trades.
* An “Occupational License” is not a regulatory license or a certificate of competency, but a tax for the privilege of engaging in or managing a business, profession or occupation.
* You may be held liable for injury on your property if the unlicensed contractor has no insurance or Workman’s Compensation.