The licensing agency, CSLB, is there to help avoid these problems.
But, they cannot help if you hire unlicensed persons looking for a
better price or workers working for cash without insurance. It’s a big gamble, so
check the license first and be a cautious consumer - for your
September 28, 2012 - CSLB #12-31
Contractors State License Board
Eight in Clovis Undercover Sting
Unlicensed individuals violate
multiple state contracting laws
SACRAMENTO – Eight people were
issued notices to appear in Fresno Superior Court and two others are
under further investigation after the Contractors State License
Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) – with
assistance from the Clovis Police Department and the Department of
Insurance – conducted an undercover sting operation at a Clovis
house on September 25, 2012.
The SWIFT team used advertisements from local newspapers,
craigslist, and internal referrals to schedule home improvement bids
for painting, landscaping, concrete, and fence work. All home
improvement jobs valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material
costs) must be conducted by a company or person with a contractor
license issued by CSLB (Business
and Professions Code section 7028).
Five of the phony contractors also were issued
Stop Orders for failure to carry workers’ compensation
insurance. CSLB investigators can halt job site activity when any
person with or without a contractor license does not have workers’
compensation insurance coverage for employees. Failure to comply
with a Stop Order can result in misdemeanor charges and penalties,
including 60 days in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines. Five of the
individuals also were cited for violating contractor advertising
laws, which require the contractor license number to be included in
all forms of advertising (Business
and Professions Code section 7027.1).
“Unlicensed individuals pose a risk to consumers and undermine
California’s economy,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Always ask
for a state contractor license number and
confirm the license history on CSLB’s website before hiring anyone
to do work in or around your home.”
The eight who received NTAs are scheduled for arraignment at Fresno
County Superior Court, 1100 N. Van Ness Avenue, Department 402, on
either November 13, 2012 or November 27, 2012.
CSLB urges consumers to
follow these tips before hiring anyone to work on their home:
· Only hire licensed contractors and ask to see their license and a
photo ID to verify their identity. California law requires a license
for all home improvement contracts with a combined cost of more than
$500 for labor and materials.
· Always check the license number on CSLB’s
Instant License Check feature.
· Never make a down payment of more than 10 percent of the contract
price or $1,000, whichever is less.
· Don’t pay in cash, and don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
· Get at least three bids, check references, get a written contract,
and make sure you understand all terms before signing the contract.
· If a contractor has employees, make sure they are covered by a
workers’ compensation insurance policy, which is noted on the
license detail page on CSLB’s website. Otherwise, if a worker is
injured on the job, the property owner could be liable for medical
and other expenses.
The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of
California Department of Consumer Affairs. More information and
publications about hiring contractors are available on CSLB’s
website or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752).
Source: From: "Contractors
State License Board@CSLB" <CSLBINFO@CSLB.CA.GOV>
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