April 22nd: Judgement Day?

April 22nd: Judgement Day?
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM

This week in California there were over 131 arrests made of contractors who are accused of operating without the appropriate licenses for their trade. The arrests were made in conjunction with Contractors State Licensing Board investigators who suspected that these individuals had either been using someone else’s license to operate their business or fraudulently posing as licensed contractors. With that, one can begin to speculate that the EPA’s recent hiring efforts in a number of states including California and Texas to “perform oversight of licensing requirements and program audits” will result in similar enforcement, fines and penalties of the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Remodeling rules that will be in affect as of April 22nd.

With cutbacks, setbacks and yes, even the proven incompetence of our elected officials with regard to monetary budgets and spending in relation to our current economic crisis, it appears that the idea is somewhat of a “Robin Hood” employment opportunity in which we penalize the small business owners, hardworking contractors and rental property owners to pay the salaries of the EPA inspectors and officials. The cycle: hire new employees, spend money on training and salaries, lack the money to pay, punish small businesses, contractors and rental property owners. The punishment is steep; fines can exceed $35,000 per day for not obtaining the appropriate licenses and training! Yes, per day!

We have applied for our licensing and have made it mandatory for all of our maintenance staff to attend. This is not to be taken lightly. For additional information, please visit the site put together by the Institute of Real Estate Management: