Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Cape Coral Police Department Arrest Two Unlicensed Contractors
July 6, 2010
CAPE CORAL—Yesterday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Cape Coral Police Department protected consumers by arresting two unlicensed air conditioning contractors. The two individuals, Thomas Milan Williams (41) and Eugene Laurence Gentsch (43), illegally advertised services on Craigslist.com. DBPR partnered with the CCPD to respond to numerous complaints about the advertisements.
Florida law requires that air conditioning contractors be licensed by DBPR. Unlicensed activity threatens the financial and personal safety of consumers, leaving them with little to no recourse. State-licensed professionals are also impacted by unlicensed activity. Unlicensed individuals often underbid licensed professionals, but they usually do not carry workers’ compensation or liability insurance, posing an increased threat to consumers and cutting out licensed professionals. 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.