CONSTRUCTION ISSUES FACING FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS
Tilden Law focuses its efforts on assisting Florida homeowners recover restitution when financially harmed by unscrupulous home contractors. Florida contractors are licensed through the Department of Business and Professional Regulations also known as the DBPR.
Licensed Florida contractors are divided into two categories: Division 1 and Division 2 contractors.
Division 1 contractors include:
- Certified General Contractors (CGC)
- Certified Residential Contractors (CRC)
- Certified Building Contractors (CBC)
(Division 1 restitution claims are capped at $50,000 per claim and $500,000 lifetime cap for the contractor and must be re-proved after a Final Order is issued)
Division 2 contractors include:
- Certified Air Conditioning Contractor
- Certified Mechanical Contractor
- Certified Plumbing Contractor
- Certified Pollutant Storage System Contractor
- Certified Pool / Spa Contractor
- Certified Roofing Contractor
- Certified Sheet Metal Contractor
- Certified Solar Contractor
- Certified Specialty Contractor
- Certified Underground Utility & Excavation Contractor
(Division 2 restitution claims are capped at $15,000 per claim and $150,000 lifetime cap for the contractor and must be re-proved after a Final Order is issued. Only construction contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2016 will qualify for restitution)
Tilden Law Helps Florida Homeowners
Our typical client has hired a licensed contractor for construction services on their residence and has suffered a financial loss due to the contractor’s actions in one or more of the following three ways:
- Committing mismanagement or misconduct in the practice of contracting that causes financial harm to a customer. Financial mismanagement or misconduct occurs when:
a). Valid liens have been recorded against the property of a contractor’s customer for supplies or services ordered by the contractor for the customer’s job; the contractor has received funds from the customer to pay for the supplies or services; and the contractor has not had the liens removed from the property, by payment or by bond, within 75 days after the date of such liens;
b). The contractor has abandoned a customer’s job and the percentage of completion is less than the percentage of the total contract price paid to the contractor as of the time of abandonment, unless the contractor is entitled to retain such funds under the terms of the contract or refunds the excess funds within 30 days after the date the job is abandoned; or
c). The contractor’s job has been completed, and it is shown that the customer has had to pay more for the contracted job than the original contract price, as adjusted for subsequent change orders, unless such increase in cost was the result of circumstances beyond the control of the contractor, was the result of circumstances caused by the customer, or was otherwise permitted by the terms of the contract between the contractor and the customer.
- Abandoning a construction project for more than 90 days; or
- Signing a false statement claiming that the work is bonded, that all payments to subcontractors have been made, or claiming to have provided certain worker’s compensation and insurance protection.
When one or more of the above listed events occur, homeowners will typically contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) and file a formal complaint. That file will be issued a complaint or case number and an investigator with the DBPR will be assigned to investigate the complaint. Typically the investigator will contact the homeowner for the particulars of the complaint and will forward their findings to the DBPR who will assign it to the Construction Industry Licensing Board for review. The CILB will assign the complaint to a Probable Cause panel who will determine whether probable cause exists to precede with possible disciplinary action against the contractor.
In those complaints/cases where probable cause is found, the complaint/case will be heard by the Final Action Committee at a public hearing. The contractor will be notified that of the hearing and can appear alone or with legal counsel to explain/defend his or her actions in an effort to prevent disciplinary action against their license. The committee, by vote, will determine whether the contractor will face a fine, probation, suspension or revocation of their license.
The outcome of the Final Action Committee will be reduced to writing in a Final Order which may outline whether the homeowner can seek restitution for the financial loss.
Using this Final Order, Tilden Law seeks full compensation through the FHCRF. This is a fund of “last resort” meaning all other methods of collecting restitution must be explored prior to accessing this funding. This rout however, is extremely time sensitive as we must file the homeowner’s claim within one (1) year from the date the Final Order is entered.
Tilden Law has over 25 years legal experience and millions of dollars in restitution collected for our clients. If you have filed a complaint against a licensed Florida contractor and have suffered a financial loss due to any of the three above listed, I encourage you to contact Tilden Law at 407-599-1234 for a free initial consultation to see if we can help. All legal assistance provided by Tilden Law is on a contingency fee basis. We cover all costs and expenses we incur while working on your claim even if we are unsuccessful in making a recovery on your behalf.
Contact Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden – Free Initial Consultation
Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden fights to recover money for homeowners throughout the state of Florida.
Call 407.599.1234 to speak with a highly experienced Central Florida attorney.