VENICE, Fla. — The Manasota Air Conditioning Contractors Association held a panel discussion on May 5, 2022, with Timothy McGrath, Tampa field manager-Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation; Manatee County Sheriff, Rick Wells; Sarasota County Chief Deputy Colonel, Brian Woodring; and Captain Eric Hill, City of Venice Police Department; which focused on curbing the issue of unlicensed contractor activity.  

Hiring an unlicensed contractor is against the law and can cause physical and financial harm to a homeowner or business. The panelists stressed the importance of checking who to hire to work on homes and/or businesses, and to make sure they hold the proper licensing. Timothy McGrath, field manager-Florida DBPR, expressed the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors and how they can lack the necessary qualifications, education, and exhibit subpar performance standards which can lead to non-compliance with building codes.

Both County Sheriff’s Departments, the City of Venice Police and the Florida DBPR, suggest the best way to curb the issue of unlicensed contractors within the community and businesses is to educate others through social media, prevent victimization by educating seniors within the community, utilize local resources, and be an ambassador. People should not hesitate to report any suspicious unlicensed contractor activity by collecting a tag number, description and/or photo(s) of the person or vehicles involved in the crime prior to making the report.