Three Tucson men arrested for operating without contractor's license
TUCSON - Using sting houses and monitoring online advertisements, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors has nailed 30 individuals over the last two weeks for working without a license. Nine were arrested, and many more were given Cease and Desist orders.
Over the last two weeks, three were arrested for not having a contractor's license here in Pima County.
Guadalupe Lopez, 47, was caught doing tile work back in April. Michael Gail, 35, had allegedly not completed the work he was hired and paid in part to do back in 2014. And 47-year-old Kevin Bennett did flooring work in 2012.
“Individuals and entities performing contracting work illegally and without a license place the public at risk and effectively steal millions from Arizona's hardworking, law-abiding contractors and their employees," said Jeff Fleetham, Director for the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
Cases like these increase during the summer, with prime season for unlicensed contractors. Monsoon storms and extreme heat means homes need more repairs.
"They might be able to offer a little cheaper price up front, but in the end you're not going to have that quality of work," said Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling HVAC Supervisor, Jason Carnes
Companies like Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling often get called in next to fix what the unlicensed contractors left imperfect.
"It's going to cost the homeowner a lot of money in the end," said Carnes. "You're paying for it two times."
The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona encourages consumers to do their homework first before hiring outside help.
"If they're unwilling to give you their full name, their business name, that's another warning or red flag," said BBB Interim CEO Candice Agee-Reed. "Ask the questions to get the information that you need. Make sure that you research through wither us or the registrar of contractors or ask around to people who claim to have work done by those people."
Under the 'handyman exemption,' it is perfectly legal for someone to do work on your home without a contractor's license, if the dollar amount you've agreed to pay them is under $1,000.