How to Verify a Professional's License in Lakeland?
Per state law, hiring an unlicensed professional in Lakeland is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is responsible for issuing professional licenses to over 490,000 professionals, including eligible individuals in the City of Lakeland. When considering hiring a professional in Lakeland, you should always ask for proof of licensure and verify the information using DBPR's online license search portal. In addition to state regulations, some professions in Lakeland are also regulated at the local level. For example, contractors in the City of Lakeland are required to register with the city's Building Inspection Division. You can verify a contractor's registration status with the division by calling (863) 834-6012.
Having verified your professional's license status, you must make sure that any city-required permits for the job are also duly obtained. For example, home improvement or construction work in Lakeland requires your contractor or developer to obtain a building permit from the Building Inspection Division. All queries concerning building permits can be directed to the city's Building Inspection Division by calling (863) 834 - 6012.
No, neighborhood associations and homeowners associations in the City of Lakeland do not issue permits for home improvement or construction work. However, neighborhood associations and homeowners associations typically ensure that construction work and property maintenance are done in ways that guarantee public health and safety. For example, the Grove Homeowners Association requires residents to keep sidewalks and passageways located on their lot free from litter and debris. Likewise, the Lake James Homeowners Association prohibits the construction of buildings other than one single-family dwelling unit on any lot in the neighborhood. Neighborhood associations in the City of Lakeland are required to register with the city's Neighborhood Association Coalition (NAC). NAC is an umbrella organization of neighborhood associations created to encourage the city to meet the needs and concerns of neighborhoods as articulated by the various neighborhood associations. Each registered neighborhood association must have at least one representative at NAC meetings. This may include the president of the neighborhood association and any other key members of the neighborhood association. You can find the by-laws of the NAC, the requirements for registration, as well as meeting schedules by visiting the NAC page. You can also find a list of registered neighborhood associations in Lakeland by downloading the NAC directory.
Consumer complaints involving unfair and deceptive business practices can be filed with the Consumer Protection Division of Florida's Office of the Attorney General online or by calling (800) 962-2873. Upon receiving your complaint, the division will investigate the matter to determine the nature of your grievances and the best way to resolve them. The Consumer Protection Division of Florida's Office of the Attorney General protects consumers by enforcing the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and it resolves consumer complaints via methods like investigation, mediation, and arbitration. However, filing a consumer complaint with the division does not guarantee that you will recover what you lost to a business. If you seek compensation for monetary damages, you can file a civil action against the business. You can file matters involving a total value of $8,000 or less as small claims in Polk County Court. Finally, you can report complaints involving criminal offenses to the Lakeland Police Department by calling (863) 834 - 6900.