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Unlicensed Contractor Crackdown Leads to 20 People Charged

Authorities encourage people to call Code Enforcement to check if a contractor is licensed.

Unlicensed Contractor Crackdown Leads to 20 People Charged

A new intiative between Sarasota County and state authorities has led to 20 people facing criminal charges for being unlicensed contractors.

Two Sarasota County Sheriff's detectives are working with Sarasota County Code Enforcement and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation investigating claims against people doing unlicensed or improperly licensed, permitted or certified contractor work.

In the first six months of the program, 20 people were criminally charged and another 23 people received citations, according to the sheriff's office.

A first offense in most cases results in a civil citation by code enforcement, and subsequent violations lead to misdemeanor or felony criminal charges.

“Legitimate Sarasota County businesses are being undercut by unlicensed contractors, but that is not the only reason people need to make sure they hire licensed professionals,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Using a licensed contractor protects consumers financially, shields them from potential litigation, and ensures their safety because shoddy work can only be detected during the inspection process.”

To check a Sarasota County license call Code Enforcement at 861-6126, and to report someone you suspect is acting as an unlicensed contractor or performing work without a permit call Sarasota County at 861-5000.

For more information visit the  Planning & Development Services Web page.

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