• Capitol Connection Q&A 1156

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    January 17, 2020

    By Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.

    Let’s play ‘catch’. You’re busted! New year and new ground to cover as ‘MMXX’ will likely cost contractor’s a little more and it’s good to know those fees help bring a lot more ‘SWIFT’ justice in leveling the playing field for the good guys! …
    Focused primarily on educating your consumer customers, it’s also some comfort to know that the CSLB is on unlicensed competition like a rash in CA. The Board sharing news that agents busted bad guys pretending to be legit in five counties.
    “The undercover operations took place at homes in Placerville (El Dorado County), Carmel (Monterey County), Reseda (Los Angeles County), San Bernardino (San Bernardino County), and Bakersfield (Kern County). 
    Investigators from CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) used newspaper and online ads as well as business cards to find people suspected of performing illegal contracting jobs. The suspects were asked to provide bids for home improvement jobs like painting, paving, flooring, tree trimming, insulation, concrete, and tile installation.
    During the operation, bids ranged from $700 for interior painting to more than $18,000 for concrete installation. State law requires a state-issued contractor license for construction or home repair work that totals $500 or more in materials and/or labor.”
    You can be sure they will not run out of handcuffs. “43 individuals could face an additional misdemeanor charge for their illegal advertisements. Licensed contractors must display their license number in all advertisements; unlicensed contractors must state in all ads that they do not have a license. The penalty for violating the advertising rules for unlicensed contractors is a fine of $700 to $1,000.
    Eleven people were also cited for not having Workers' Compensation (WC) Insurance, which puts workers at risk of not being covered if they are hurt on the job and exposes homeowners to liability for on-site injuries.
    If contractors don't have employees, they must file a Workers' Compensation exemption with CSLB, which is noted on the license record. The exception is for roofing contractors, who must carry Workers' Comp, whether they work solo or have employees (who also must be covered).
    Three others may be charged with requesting an illegally large down payment. California law states that a down payment cannot exceed $1,000 or 10% of the contract amount, whichever is less.
    One individual was using a CSLB license number that did not belong to them.”
    And note last year’s CSLB Emergency Regulation filing to amend the Section regulating renewal fees for 2020 (MMXX) is now law and goes into effect February 1st.  Currently, to renew a license Active, the fee is $400.  The new proposal will raise the Active renewal fee to $450.  Inactive license renewals would be raised from $200 to $225 so plan ahead.

    While knowledge is power, knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 866-443-0657, email info@cutredtape.com, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 3609 Bradshaw Rd, Ste H, #343, Sacramento, CA 95827. Research past columns at www.cutredtape.com.

    Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.
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