The ability to pull permits and commence work is key to the success of all roofing contractors across the Sunshine State. Fortunately, filling out and submitting an application for a roofing permit is a fairly straightforward process. Unfortunately, it’s not until their rights are threatened that many contractors give any thought to Florida’s unique roofing laws. Below, we discuss your permit-pulling responsibilities as a roofing contractor and the penalties for abandoning these responsibilities. If your right to pull permits is ever threatened, consult a roofing attorney in Florida.
Protecting Your Rights
The easiest ways to protect your right to pull permits is to abide by the timeframe stipulated by Florida Law. Florida Statute 489.126(2)(a) states that a contractor who has received an initial payment of 10 percent of the contract price has:
- 30 days to apply for the necessary permits
- 90 days to begin work after permits have been issued
By abiding by these two regulations, you can effectively avoid the pitfalls that have prevented other roofing contractors from continuing in this industry. If you fail to abide by these rules, you risk starting a dispute that can escalate to your permit-pulling rights being prohibited. First, an owner can demand that you obtain the permits, begin work, or refund the initial payment. From there, an assortment of penalties can be handed down.
Violating Florida Law
The penalties for violating this Florida law vary with the severity of the crime. Whether a misdemeanor or a felony, the penalties can cripple even the most successful of roofing contractors. These penalties are:
- Less than $1,000: First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine
- Between $1,000 and $20,000: Third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 fine
- Between $20,000 and $200,000: Second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
- Over $200,000: First-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
Not to mention that your permit-pulling rights could be prohibited. That is exactly what happened to one Florida roofing company that collected payments from Hurricane Irma victims and failed to apply for permits and commence work. This company will now have to correct their mistakes before they can work on any future projects.
Such a setback could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for any roofing business. Whether your company has been accused of committing a misdemeanor or a felony, we can help. Contact an experienced roofing lawyer in Florida before your right to pull permits and entire livelihood are threatened.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.