Last month California's State License Board conducted a series of undercover stings to catch unlicensed contractors who were operating illegally. This program is run under the Department of Consumer Affairs. Dozens of contractors were arrested, put in hand cuffs, advised that they must show up in court and directed to obtain their license before offering to do home improvement work. Legal contractors in California are applauding the program hoping it will help level the playing field. (See press releases and video below)
New Jersey Contractor Stings
A similar contractor sting program is in effect in New Jersey. Last year several contractors were caught offering to work illegally.
Will contractor stings on decoy homes happen in Massachusetts?
We predict that states including Mass will start utilizing stings as a method of enforcement to catch illegal contractors. Many legal contractors voice concerns about fair competition and the illegal underground contractor problem on forums like LinkedIn, JLC, Remodeling Magazine, Contractor Talk. Legal contractors who pay the fees for licensing expect regulators to enforce licensing requirements across the board.
In Massachusetts, we are seeing strong enforcement by the Department of Labor Standards on the RRP Law. The state has approximately 65 companies listed on the state website for violations of Lead and RRP. In addition a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and DLS for enforcement. The two agencies share information when they discover contractors working without a Home Improvement registration or a Lead Safe Renovation Contractor License (Certified Firm) for work on pre 1978 properties.
Stings in Mass
Is the stage set for another sting in Mass? OCABR ran a sting in 2011 after The Springfield tornado. They set up shop in a home in Brimfield, Ma. and caught dozens of contractors offering to work on a home without the required HIC Registration. However Mass. OCABR did not arrest anyone. They used the sting as an opportunity to educate the illegal contractors to acquire the HIC registration.
Here is the latest list of press release and a video of the California contractor sting.
CSLB's Latest Press Releases
New Jersey Contractors Published News Article
Last year in New Jersey a sting was conducted and several contractors were arrested for offering to work on consumers homes without the required licenses. Here are names form the article:
- AA Construction, of Piscataway
- Get it Done Painting, of Trenton
- MLA Home Improvements, aka Mr. Yard & Home, of Somerville
- NE Home Improvements, of Philadelphia
- Sonny Signo & Sons Home Repair & Remodeling, of Elizabeth
- Tara Construction, of Lawrenceville
- Amidas Painting and Construction, LLC, of Chesterfield
- Home Code, LLC, of Highland Park
- First Choice Flooring, Inc.
- Mudry Construction, LLC, of Mercerville.