OUCH! Unlicensed ContractorsNabbed in CA Sting

Four unlicensed HVAC contractors replacing air conditioning at a Rancho Bernardo, CA condominium were among 13 persons nabbed for violating California home improvement contracting laws.The arrests were the result of an undercover contractor sting operation launched in July.

The Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) was assisted by the San Diego Police and City Attorney, San Diego County District Attorney, and the California Department of Insurance.

SWIFT members posed as homeowners seeking bids for the installation of a new air conditioner, and for plumbing, painting, and tile work. Unlicensed C-20 Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) contractors are of particular concern to CSLB because they generally fail to obtain the required building department permits for such projects.

California’s Energy Efficiency Standards updates that took effect in January 2010 require contractors to obtain a permit from the city or county building department where the home or business is located before installing, removing, remodeling, or replacing any heating or air-conditioning unit. Compliance with HVAC permit laws is one of the Board’s top enforcement priorities.

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