Homeowners warned against hiring unlicensed contractors

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Hurricane season is just two days away. If you're planning on getting work done to your home, the state wants you to get it done with a licensed professional.

In April, the St. John's County Sheriff's Office nabbed 14 men – accused of calling themselves contractors, when really deputies say they didn't have a license. That's against the law.

"We determine if they have a license and if they don't, then we take administrative action," said Tajiana Ancora-Brown with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

According to DBPR, during hurricane season, lots of people get work done on their homes and unlicensed contractors may be out to get the bid, but you should go for someone with a license.

"They're trained, they're tested," Ancora-Brown said.

The DBPR has conducted 386 sweeps since around this time last year. That's catching people in the act of doing work without a license, which they say is hazardous for homeowners.

"Services like roofing, plumbing, electrical contractors, construction contractors. Those individuals require certain testing," Ancora-Brown added.

Paul Adrianse owns Legacy Construction services in Tallahassee. He says it's good to be proactive, check your home and find a good contractor before a storm hits.

"It's gonna give homeowners an additional layer of protection," he said. "You wouldn't want to hire an unlicensed attorney. Same thing if you were going to the doctor. You would never want to hire a doctor to care for you that's unlicensed."

The department says you can also download their DPBR mobile app and verify a licensed contractor.


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