Nine Cited for Unlicensed Contracting in San Luis Obispo County

By the Contractors State License Board

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) collaborated with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office last month to conduct an undercover operation targeting unlicensed contractors.

Conducted on May 21 and 22 in Arroyo Grande, the operation led to nine individuals receiving Notices to Appear in criminal court for allegedly contracting without a license. One of the nine individuals had previously been cited for unlicensed contracting and had received a fine, probation, and jail time.

Two additional individuals may be referred to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney after additional investigation is performed for charges related to unlicensed contracting.

During the operation, CSLB and law enforcement officials cited individuals for submitting bids for construction projects that exceeded the legal limit of $500. The bid amounts ranged from $2,100 to $25,480 for various landscaping, concrete, painting and other general contracting jobs. Engaging in contracting work without a valid license is a misdemeanor offense in California, carrying substantial penalties. In addition, administrative fines up to $15,000 can be assessed.

Some individuals demanded excessive down payments before starting work. California law limits contractors to requesting no more than 10 percent of the project cost or $1,000, whichever is less. Down payment violations are misdemeanors, punishable by fines up to $5,000, a one-year county jail sentence, or both.

Additionally, seven stop orders were issued to halt work at job sites where contractors failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

“CSLB is dedicated to protecting consumers from the risks posed by unlicensed contractors,” said David Fogt, CSLB Registrar. “We work tirelessly to inform consumers about the necessity of hiring licensed contractors and strongly encourage homeowners to verify a contractor’s license before requesting bids or starting any home improvement project.”

For more information, visit CSLB’s website, or connect with us on FacebookX/TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About CSLB: CSLB operates under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs and licenses and regulates about 285,000 contractors in California.

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  1. A licensed contractor is required to be insured, whereas an unlicensed contractor is not. If you hire an unlicensed, uninsured contractor and a worker hurts himself on your property, you might think you are still safe because your homeowner’s insurance will likely pick up the hospital tab.
    Think again!
    Insurance companies may NOT pay the claim because you were negligent by not hiring a licensed and insured contractor. You might save a few bucks by hiring an unlicensed contractor, but look at what you risk!

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