The Department of Business and Professional Regulation “Stings” Unlicensed Contractors in Key Largo
August 23, 2010
Key Largo—Yesterday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation partnered with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the county Code Compliance Office and the State Attorney for the 16th Judicial Circuit to execute a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of two individuals, John Bowen Jr. and Michael Quintana, for unlicensed contracting.
A sting operation is an operation in which suspected unlicensed individuals are invited to a decoy jobsite and asked to provide an estimate for work that requires a state license. Once they provide that estimate and fail to provide their state-required license, they are arrested. In addition to the arrest, investigators provide information on how to obtain a license. The ultimate goal is to bring the individuals into compliance with state law and protect consumers.
Below are precautions that consumers can take to help protect themselves from unlicensed individuals:
- Check whether a state license is required for the work to be performed by visiting “What Services Require a DBPR License.”
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get a Release of Lien covering all workers and materials. This removes your property from the threat of lien.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.