Occupational Licensing

Unlicensed Contractors Plague New Jersey. Government There to Help.

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New Jersey officials have levied $2,500 fines on 10 unscrupulous unlicensed home improvement contractors who attempted to work without a permission slip from the state.

Mercer County investigators conducted an "undercover house" sting in July, but, post-Sandy, the issue has taken on a new importance for Governor Christie, who has a message for New Jersey residents. Via Toms River News:

"In the wake of Sandy, we're working hard to help and protect New Jersey residents on all levels," said Governor Christie. "We want to make sure that those who sustained damage from the storm don't suffer further at the hands of unscrupulous contractors."

Attorney General Chiesa said, "New Jerseyans whose homes were damaged by Sandy should be on alert. Now is the time when fly-by-night, unregistered contractors will descend on storm-damaged areas, seeking to make a quick profit at the expense of homeowners. 

…The investigators booked appointments with unregistered contractors, some of whom who had commercial listings on Craigslist and other websites, in "home improvement guide" publications that were placed at convenience and grocery stores, and in local yellow pages.

During the operation's second phase, the unregistered contractors came out to the Titusville home. The unregistered contractors spoke with the undercover investigators, who posed as the home's owners. The investigators noted that, though the home had been empty for a few years and sustained minor damage, it could become beautiful again with the right work. The contractors examined the home and made estimates ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 for repairs such as painting, flooring, roofing, sheetrock work, and masonry work.

"One of the contractors showed up without a tape measure, ruler, meter, or any measuring device, and without even a notebook—and then made an estimate of $50,000, apparently based on what the investigators said they could afford," Eric T. Kanefsky, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, said. "Consumers should never hire a contractor without learning everything they can about the company's reputation and abilities, and making sure they are duly registered with the state."

No word on whether a guns-drawn raid was necessary to take down the scofflaws.

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  1. You expected something else from the state where it’s illegal to pump your own gas?

    1. Seriously! Why doesn’t NJ have an office so that people can apply there for a licensed contractor to come out and work on their homes?

    2. What’s even worse is the plague of “SWIPE ATTENDANT CARD” is spreading, meaning that I now have to wait for the attendant to get around to me about 1/4 of time.

      You know what would have been a good idea during the gas crunch? Lift that stupid restriction so each fill up takes a bit shorter and the lines can actually move.

  2. It is going to be fun to watch Christie get waxed next election. Any ‘conservative’ who favors this guy really is looking more like a state worshiper.

    He is so full of shit.

    Suck it Ann Colter. You nasty skank. I know you love this guy but just because he has the ability to gain massive amounts of weight does not make him a good political leader.

    1. Christie may be going full Arnold here — running to the left in a Blue state.

      He deserves to be primaried.

      1. Sadly, he’s still the best governor this state has had in my lifetime. Only two types of people win statewide here: full fledged members of the Democratic machine and squishy moderates that come in after the Dembot invariably fucks up so bad that he can’t pull over 47% of the vote even though he’s spotted 45 points just for being alive and having a D next to his name.

  3. One small silver lining of Hurricane Sandy is that it has blown Christie off of the conservative pedestal.

    (not that anything else could have, mind)

    1. Tornado? Nuclear bomb? Earthquake? Tsunami?

      Notice that these are things liberals believe stimulate economic activity?

  4. I almost forgot that Christie was an asshole.

  5. It must suck to live in New York, when the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey.

    1. Yes. Yes it does suck.

  6. “Consumers should never hire a contractor without learning everything they can about the company’s reputation and abilities, and making sure they are duly registered with the state/strike.”

    FTFY.

    Buyer beware. Anyone dumb enough to hire some dude who shows up claiming to be a “contractor” and doesn’t at least have a tape measure, notebook, and doesn’t perform at least a cursory inspection of the home before pulling an estimate out of their ass deserves whatever they get.

    1. Shit, html tags how do they work?

      “Consumers should never hire a contractor without learning everything they can about the company’s reputation and abilities, and making sure they are duly registered with the state.”

      FTFY.

      Buyer beware. Anyone dumb enough to hire some dude who shows up claiming to be a “contractor” and doesn’t at least have a tape measure, notebook, and doesn’t perform at least a cursory inspection of the home before pulling an estimate out of their ass deserves whatever they get.

      There, all better. Fucking hell.

  7. “We want to make sure that those who sustained damage from the storm don’t suffer further at the hands of unscrupulous contractors.”

    Die in a fire, you fat fuck.

  8. Whoo! Thank god I don’t live there in NJ. Anyways why don’t they posses a provisional unit to regularly check the license and someone to issue license to the new ones.

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