Sarasota County Issues Warning to Beware of Unlicensed Contractors
Unlicensed contractors may not be aware of local ordinances or state requirements and may cost you more in the long run. Before you conduct business, ask to see the contractor's license number and watch out for red flags such as:
·If the individuals or business asks for money up front.
·If the license and/or insurance numbers are not visible, or they refuse to show you identification.
·If the induvial or business asks you, the homeowner, to apply for a permit.
Call 311 to verify or report unlicensed work. For more information, click here.
Scams can take many different forms, including phone calls, texts, mail or email, websites, or in person. We have been informed of the attached flier (DOC000) being distributed throughout the county – this is NOT a county document. The attached FEMA hand out also contains information for in person visits.
Here are some ways to recognize and prevent scams.
1.Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money.
2.Resist the pressure to act immediately. Scammers pressure to provide information immediately, they want you to act before you have time to think.
3.Know how scammers will ask you to pay. They often insist on payment by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.
4.Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone - a friend, a family member, a neighbor - what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
Help prevent scams and disaster fraud by reporting them. If something about a situation feels uncomfortable or you suspect fraud, report it to local law enforcement, the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline or the Department of Justice Fraud Hotline.
For the unincorporated area of Sarasota County:
·To check on whether a contractor is licensed with Sarasota County, please call 311, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
·To report possible unlicensed or unpermitted activity, please call 311, (941) 861-6612 or email email@example.com.
Property owners can also report unlicensed activity to the state of Florida:
·Please call the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) at (850) 487-1395 or visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
·CFO’s Office (Insurance/Fraud): https://myfloridacfo.com/
·Fraud (individuals/businesses/contractors): https://reportfraud.ftc.gov
Sarasota County Express Permits & Temporary-Use Permits
The county is issuing express permits for storm-related repairs or replacements for the following:
- Reroof, roof repair.
- Electrical service change.
- Air condition change out.
- Windows, one window.
- Garage door, one door.
Express permits waive the county permit fee and are issued within one to three days. To apply for an express permit on visit scgov.net or apply in person at the Sarasota County Operations Center Permit Center, 1001 Sarasota Center Boulevard, Sarasota.
For residential property not part of a Manufactured Home Zone District, Sarasota County developed a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) application to be used for those requiring temporary housing on a residential property. However, the property owner will need to check their homeowner's association restrictions. These TUPs are valid for a one-year period, with the ability to extend three months based on an active building permit for the repair/reconstruction of the residence. For more information, call 311.
If already in a Residential Manufactured Home Zone District: The Sarasota County Unified Development Code allows either an RV or a manufactured home in the Residential Manufactured Home Zone District, so a TUP is not required from the county for temporary housing within these districts.
Disaster Recovery Center & FEMA Assistance
The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) located at the Shannon Staub Library is now operating 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The DRC will be closed on Sundays. The DRC will be closed Nov. 24 and 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and will operate normal hours Nov. 26.
FEMA individual assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration and other state resources are available at the DRC. The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is Monday, Nov. 28.
Business Recovery Center
The Venice Community Center is serving as a Business Recovery Center, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Dec. 4. The BRC will be closed Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.