Important CSLB Bulletin:
SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) caught nine people for violating state home improvement contracting laws during an undercover sting on December 13, 2010. SWIFT was assisted by the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’a Office.
During the sting operation at a Glendora home, SWIFT investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for painting, fencing, flooring, and cabinetry projects. Suspects who bid more than $500 for labor and materials received a notice to appear (NTA) in court. “Homeowners need to be fully aware of who they are letting into their homes,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “This operation illustrates the importance of spending a couple of minutes on CSLB website to check the license before you hire a contractor to ensure you arenâ€™t putting your family or your home at risk.”
California law requires all home improvement jobs valued at more than $500 to be undertaken by a licensed contractor. Contractors also must place their state license number in all advertisements. Unlicensed individuals may advertise and accept jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not a licensed contractor. State law prohibits solicitation of a down payment that is greater than 10 percent of the projects value or $1,000, whichever is less, for home improvement contracts. There is an exception for about two dozen licensed contractors who purchase special consumer protection bonds and are noted on CSLB’s website. State law also requires those selling home improvement services for licensed contractors to register with CSLB.
Since 2005, state law has required criminal background checks for anyone applying for a new license or adding a license classification. California law also requires contractors to have workers compensation coverage for all of their employees to protect homeowners from liability.