The Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Florida intensifies its fight against unlicensed activities. We find the problem of unlicensed activities in all business fields - including the real estate and vacation rental profession. Unlicensed people (even companies) offer their services without taking the time and effort of getting and maintaining the proper licenses. Of course unlicensed services can be offered cheaper - like working "on the side" (to commit tax fraud). But the old saying is true "you get what you pay for". Sometimes the real cost will be seen much later. An unlicensed service provider obviously could not prove his or her qualification and does not want to get audited or does not want his or her criminal background checked. There are many reasons for not getting licensed.
We do not trust people who run illegitimate businesses or offer services "without invoice". Soon their business "partners" might also be affected by their negligence or dishonesty. If you feel the same way, perform a background and license check of people you work with. Both can be done very easily in Florida. Click for license check.
Here are valuable consumer tips, dealing with topics like "dangers of hiring an unlicensed person". For example, did you know, that you might loose insurance protection, if work was not done by a licensed contractor?
The DBPR fights for consumer protection and also needs your help. On Sept. 17, 2010 we got their latest newsletter: "The bottom line". If you suspect unlicensed activity, do not hesitate toreport itright away. (Here is the form for real estate. This should also be used to complain about escrow problems!) Doing this helps to protect other consumers. See the "Unlicensed Activity Program".
We will gladly answer all licensing questions you might have in the real estate and (vacation) rental profession. For other professions please read the detailed information on the DBPR's website and / or contact the Department. Write a comment below, if you want to learn more.
Heimo W. Langenbach (Real Estate License BK3046817), Sea Breeze International Management Corp. (Real Estate License CQ1016174, Short-term rental License DWE4605618), www.seabim.com