Miami "Road Block" Nabs Violators
November 15, 2007
Coral Gables, FL—The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (Department) worked with local law enforcement to target unlicensed contractors last week, resulting in the arrest of 15 people and the citation of 23 more. The Department in cooperation with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Intergovernmental Bureau and the Miami-Dade Code Compliance Office set up a randomly selected vehicle stop on Augusto St. and Miami Homestead Avenue in an ongoing effort to reduce unlicensed activity and non-compliance by licensees.
“I am very pleased with the hard work our Department and our local law enforcement partners put into this operation,” Secretary Holly Benson said. “We are committed to continuing these kinds of proactive measures in an effort to catch and discipline unlicensed contractors who harm consumers and divert business from licensed professionals.”
The joint effort produced 15 technical arrests (notices to appear) for misdemeanor county violations and 23 tickets for various violations of county codes, including ten for unlicensed activity. Miami Dade officials were responsible for citing all violations.
The Department takes the threat of unlicensed activity seriously and works diligently through both enforcement and education efforts to deter and eliminate this dangerous activity. When hiring a contractor, consumers should:
- Always ask to see the contractor’s license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850.487.1395 or visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask any potential contractor for references and check each one.
- Beware of scams when contractors ask for all the money up front, will only accept cash, or solicit door-to-door targeting the elderly and uninformed.
- Beware of contractors who arrive in unmarked vehicles, possibly from out-of-state.
- Never pay in cash, especially a large up-front deposit.
- 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.
- Don’t sign the certificate of completion until you are satisfied with the work done.
Consumers are urged to report unlicensed activity of any of the professions regulated by the Department by calling 1.866.532.1440.
The Department licenses and regulates nearly 1,000,000 of Florida’s businesses and professionals.