City of Fremont Police Department - Unlicensed Contractor
State Board offers Powerful Guidelines for Repairs and Remodels
On September 25, 2002 members of the California State License Board (CSLB), City of Fremont Revenue Division, and the Fremont Police Department conducted a sting operation on suspected unlicensed construction contractors. The sting was in response to numerous citizen complaints regarding contractors distributing advertisements in such a way as to violate City code. These methods included, but were not limited to, throwing small baggies containing landscape rocks and an advertisement from a moving vehicle.
Here's how the sting worked: suspected unlicensed contractors were invited by CSLB investigators, posing as homeowners, to bid on work at the "sting" house. The suspected unlicensed contractors were contacted from advertisements they placed in local publications. If their bid for the project was $500 or more and they failed to have a license, they were cited.
During the sting, investigators from the CSLB issued 14 Notices to Appear in Municipal Court, and four administrative citations to suspected unlicensed contractors. The City of Fremont issued 13 citations to individuals working without a valid business license, and 4 were issued citations for violations of the city code governing the distribution of advertising. Two individuals were arrested for outstanding warrants, including a $40,000 felony theft warrant out of Santa Clara County.
The CSLB maintains a website and toll-free telephone system from which consumers can verify a contractor's license status, free of charge, 24 hours a day. Also available from the CSLB are free consumer publications.
The CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips when dealing with a building contractor:
- Hire only licensed contractors and ask to see the license.
- Verify the contractor's license by going on-line at www.cslb.ca.gov or toll-free at (800) 321-CSLB.
- Don't pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less.
- Don't pay cash, and don't let the payments get ahead of the work.
- Get three bids, check references, and get a written contract.
The Contractors State License Board, which operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses 278,000 contractors in California and investigates 25,000 complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors annually.
For details contact Detective Bill Veteran.(510) 790-6972-6973 firstname.lastname@example.org
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