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How To Report an Unlicensed HVAC Contractor


Having HVAC work done on your home or business can be nerve-wracking at the best of times, but working with a licensed contractor means the people handling your job are certified in competency by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Some people are still tempted to go with unlicensed HVAC contractors because they cost less, or are deceived into starting a job with an unlicensed contractor. We’ll explain why this is a critical mistake and what to do if you discover your HVAC contractor is unlicensed.

Why You Should Avoid Unlicensed Contractors

The most obvious reason to avoid unlicensed HVAC contractors is shoddy workmanship. These individuals often don’t have the training, skill, or experience to pass certification, and the quality of the job will suffer for it. But you should also consider these other consequences:

  • Longevity: These contractors are more likely to go out of business, leaving you high and dry when you come back in a few months to ask them to fix their poorly done repairs.
  • Warranty: Most manufacturers will only honor warranties if equipment is installed by licensed contractors, especially in cases where the installation was not done correctly.
  • Regulation: Legally, unlicensed contractors don’t exist and are therefore not beholden to regulations that would shut down the business.
  • Permits: Since unlicensed contractors are legal non-entities, they cannot obtain the necessary permits from local building departments, so lack of inspection may hide serious and dangerous code violations.
  • Insurance: Almost every home insurance policy will exclude coverage for damage or injury when a tradesperson is involved, as tradespeople are supposed to carry their own Business Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance. Since unlicensed contractors can’t get this insurance, they could get injured on your property and litigate for it.

How To Spot an Unlicensed Contractor

Knowing the full consequences of working with an unlicensed HVAC contractor is one thing, but identifying one is another. Here are a few of the biggest red flags to look for:

  • Ads for the business don’t feature the contractor’s license number
  • The contractor requires a large down payment before starting the job
  • The contractor insists you obtain any permits on their behalf
  • They tell you the job doesn’t need any permits or inspections
  • They dissuade written agreements in favor of verbal deals
  • They do not provide proof of insurance or a Contractors Competency Certificate
  • They ask you to write a check to an individual or to make cash payments
  • Vehicles do not display a company name or license number

What To Do About Unlicensed HVAC Contractors

If you suspect someone is operating an HVAC business without the proper licensing, it’s in your best interests to report them to the Unlicensed Hotline at (855) 737-6480 or email the South Florida Air Conditioning Contractors Association at director.sfaca@gmail.com. You can also report directly to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation through their Unlicensed Activity Program.

When you need HVAC services in Tampa, FL, you can trust All American Home Services. We carry all the requisite licenses and insurance to ensure the work we do on your home or business is top quality and backed by all applicable warranties.

Contact us today at 813-486-4038 to schedule a service appointment or get a free consultation on your HVAC needs.

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