Department of Business and Professional Regulation Sweeps Hillsborough and Hernando Counties for Unlicensed Low Voltage Electrical Contractors
March 4, 2010
HILLSBOROUGH AND HERNANDO COUNTIES—Yesterday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation completed an unlicensed low voltage electrical contractor sweep in partnership with the Plant City and Hernando County Building Departments. Investigators visited six jobsites, checked 13 licenses and issued one notice of noncompliance.
“Through partnerships with local governments, we can work together to combat unlicensed activity and educate consumers about the dangers of working with unlicensed individuals,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem.
The Tampa-area sweep was part of DBPR’s quarterly statewide unlicensed activity operation. This quarter, department investigators focused on low voltage electrical contracting based on tips Interim Secretary Liem received during “On the Road 2 Better Business, Part 2.” A Limited Energy Systems Specialty Contractor’s license is required to do low voltage electrical work, such as the installation of home theater and surround sound systems, wired computer networks, closed circuit televisions, electric locks and central vacuums. Investigators will also be checking community association managers’ firm licenses to ensure compliance with a law enacted in 2009 that requires CAM businesses to be licensed.
Hiring an unlicensed individual can threaten the financial and personal safety of consumers, as well as the livelihood of state-licensed professionals. Unlicensed individuals may not carry workers’ compensation or liability insurance, and consumers may end up paying for injuries on the job. Additionally, unlicensed individuals often underbid licensed professionals, which results in law-abiding professionals losing work to those who do not meet state licensure requirements.
Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves against unlicensed activity:
• 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 everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
• Report suspected unlicensed activity at MyFloridaLicense.com or toll-free at 1-866-532-1440.
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.