Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Sec. Melanie Griffin warned Florida homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian to be alert and reject fraudulent and illegal offers to perform work on their homes, use properly state-licensed professionals and verify the contractor at myfloridalicense.com.
“As structural repairs and rebuilding get underway, licensed contractors offer the only safe, legal and accountable way to have work done,” Griffin said this week. “You can bet that fraudsters will come out of the woodwork in the days and weeks ahead. The key safeguard is only doing business with professionals you confirm are properly licensed in Florida. Ask for their license information. Verify your contractor by using the DBPR mobile app or visiting MyFloridaLicense.com.”
DPBR offered the following tips so Floridians can avoid the most common traps and threats created by unlicensed frauds:
Taking a deposit but not performing the work, or performing substandard work resulting in an extensive loss in home value, financial cost to the homeowners, and potential dangers to occupants and guests
A lack of proper permitting or proof of work performed resulting in difficulty or inability to sell the home
Non-compliance with building codes leaving defects, or the inability for the home to withstand future storms
A lack of necessary insurance, creating possible liability for the homeowner for injuries on their property or for shoddy work performed
Unknown criminal backgrounds allowing potentially dangerous people access to the home and near loved ones
A lack of education and/or qualifications endangering the safety of homeowners, their loved ones and their property.
Verify the license of any prospective contractor by visiting MyFloridaLicense.com, or downloading the DBPR mobile app on iTunes and GooglePlay.
Report unlicensed contractors and other unlicensed activity to 866-532-1440 or on the DBPR mobile app or MyFloridaLicense.com.
DBPR is a founding partner of the Disaster Contractors Network (DCN), a contractor-verified clearinghouse to connect individuals with building professionals to address storm-related construction and repairs. Once homeowners are safely able to assess their home repair needs, they are encouraged to visit DCNOnline.org and search by county for a list of Florida-licensed contractors providing these services in their local community.