Summer 2015       |      Cindi A. Christenson, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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Report Unlicensed Contracting Ads that Undercut Yours

Imagine your surprise when you see your advertisement for construction services next to one posted by an unlicensed contractor offering to tackle the same projects, even though the work clearly will exceed the $500 legal limit for combined labor and material costs.

You can help stop this illegal practice, thanks to a recently strengthened law. Senate Bill 315 amended Business and Professions Code section (§) 7027.2 in 2015 to further clarify CSLB's authority to pursue civil sanctions against individuals who, despite stating in their advertisement that they are unlicensed, offer to perform construction work that typically costs thousands of dollars, such as kitchen and bathroom renovations, and requires a contractor license.

Unlicensed individuals are allowed to advertise as long as: 1) the aggregate contract price for labor, material, and all other items on a project or undertaking is less than $500; and, 2) the individuals state in their advertising that they are unlicensed. But, CSLB is still finding unlicensed operator ads for comprehensive projects. If you notice these ads – whether in print, online, or broadcast – fill out an advertising complaint form and send it to the appropriate CSLB office (depending on your county).

These leads are used as evidence for CSLB to take disciplinary action against the unlicensed operator, or provide investigators valuable leads in future sting operations that target unlicensed activity in your area.

Sting Properties Needed to Help Fight Unlicensed Contracting

Residential and commercial properties are needed throughout California to conduct undercover sting operations that help curb the underground economy. These properties help CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Teams (SWIFT) target those suspected of contracting without a license. Many are identified through online ads, some from industry leads, and others from complaints.

To offer a property or for more information, contact:

Northern SWIFT (Sacramento), 916.255.2924

Central SWIFT (Fresno), 559.490.0580

Southern SWIFT (Norwalk), 562.345.7600

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