To combat the practice of unlicensed contractors performing work, the Building Department works with State and local departments, other agencies and law enforcement officials to crack down on violators. Sweeps in which building inspectors visit job sites and ask contractors to show proof of licensure have occurred and will continue.
The department's goal is to reduce, eliminate and prevent unlicensed activity and to penalize unprofessional conduct that may pose a threat to public health, safety and welfare. Our agency does a number of things to meet this goal, to include:
Educating the public about the need for and benefits of hiring licensed contractors
Taking serious administrative action, up to and including referral for criminal prosecution, against contractors who violate any and all local and State laws and ordinances
Working with property owners and contractors to resolve complaints
Communication is Key
The best way to address unlicensed contracting is by communication between enforcement agencies and the public. Complaints to our office may be filed by the public or by governmental agencies regarding violations of State and local laws and regulations.
Whenever possible, personal contact is made with both the complainant and respondent in order to inform them about the investigation process and available relief. Persons responsible for violations are always given a reasonable time to correct them, considering the severity of the infraction. Our ultimate goal is to achieve voluntary compliance.
Consequences of Violations
Depending upon the nature of a code violation, our inspectors have several enforcement tools to help them bring violators into compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. A licensed contractor may receive a summons, which can be appealed before the appropriate board of examiners and/or Board of Public Safety.
A licensed contractor may also be subject to disciplinary action by the board of examiners and/or Board of Public Safety, depending on the nature of the violation. Unlicensed contractors will receive citations, and may appear before City Court. Continuing violations may be referred to the State Attorney's Office, which may pursue criminal charges.