Capitol Connection #1044
Everything. Our homes, communities, State, and Nation all come from the labor of hard working men and women. As we celebrate Labor Day to honor those who build America, we honor licensed contractors as the foundation of our world! You can honor them when you check they are licensed with CSLB and refuse to do business with the criminals…
To keep consumers safe and squash unfair competition for contractors are two of the missions of the CSLB’s Enforcement Unit, better known as SWIFT.
These agents scour the State of California looking for unlicensed individuals ‘acting’ as contractors to keep the underground economy in check while leveling the playing field for legitimate licensed contractors. As you will discover, some of those ‘playing contractors’ in this drama are often also criminals…
Q: I recently purchased a painting franchise and I applied for a contractor’s license but haven’t completed the application process yet. What will happen if I contract without a license? Is there some sort of temporary license I can be issued while the application is being reviewed?
A: No, the CSLB does not issue temporary licenses. As you may already be aware, it is illegal for an unlicensed contractor to contract for work over $500 for labor and materials. The CSLB has an investigative team that frequently conducts stings and sweeps to apprehend unlicensed contractors and it can result in a misdemeanor, jail time, and fines. Repeat offenders can face even harsher penalties.
Additionally, contractors performing work without a license have no legal right to enforce contracts, so consumers are not legally required to pay contractors operating illegally.
So-called ‘handy’ people are helpful, but when time and materials exceed $500 for the job a license is required to do the work. A recent CSLB sting in the Sacramento area discovered that among the suspects cited by SWIFT agents for unlicensed activity was a man convicted of rape. That conviction makes him ineligible for a license, but he was still contracting without a license and illegally advertising his services to consumers.
Build your world, but buyer beware. Check with CSLB for the good guys!
While knowledge is power, knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 866-443-0657, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 1225 8th St. Ste. 500, Sacramento, CA 95814. Research past columns at www.cutredtape.com