Unlicensed Contractors Hit the Streets

More Savvy Tips

Many of us still need to repair the damage from this winter’s devastating storms and unscrupulous or unlicensed contractors are ready and willing to take advantage of the high demand. Pam Mares, spokeswoman for the Contractors State License Board says her office is doing stings every week and arresting lots of unlicensed contractors. It’s a felony to operate without a license in any place that’s been declared a state or federal disaster area. Contractors who perform more than $500 worth of work in these areas without proper licensing can be fined up to $10,000.

The Contractors Board is urging us not to hire the first contractor who comes along or one that “just happens to be in the neighborhood.” After you get the license number, verify it at www.cslb.ca.gov or 1-800-321-CSLB. Be sure you don’t pay more than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment on any job.