Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund

fdrfContractors have a statutory duty to notify residential property owners of the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund.

The requirement is found at section 489.1425, F.S., and states that any agreement or contract for repair, restoration, improvement, or construction to residential real property must contain a written statement explaining the consumer’s rights under the recovery fund. An exception is available where the value of all labor and materials does not exceed $2,500.

The written statement must be substantially in the following form:


The notice must include the board’s address and telephone number.

Contractors may pay a fine of up to $500 for a first violation of the statute and up to $1,000 per violation thereafter and the money received from fines must be deposited into the recovery fund.

Irrigation Specialty

Certified irrigation specialty applicants may use their experience in irrigation system construction to qualify for licensure, but are required to pass the state certified irrigation specialty contractors’ examination.  The first state irrigation specialty examination will be administered April 16th and 17th, 2013. For more information on scheduling to take the state examination please visit the Department’s Bureau of Education and Testing website or call 850.488.5952.

61G4-15.035 Certification of Irrigation Specialty Contractors.

(1) The purpose of this rule is to provide for the voluntary certification of irrigation specialty contractors.

(2) Definition. An irrigation specialty contractor is a contractor whose contracting business consists of the execution of contracts requiring the experience, financial means, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, manage, monitor, audit, or, if not prohibited by law, design irrigation systems. An irrigation specialty contractor may install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, manage, monitor, audit, or, if not prohibited by law, design irrigation systems, including any excavation work incidental thereto. An irrigation system includes all: piping; fittings; sprinklers; drip irrigation products; valves; irrigation controllers; control wiring; rain sensors; water pumps; water conservation devices; water harvesting systems; irrigation main lines downstream of a utility potable water meter or utility alternative water supply distribution line and dedicated backflow prevention device; and associated components installed for the delivery and application of water for the purpose of irrigation. Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to restrict or limit in any manner the scope of work authorized by law of other contractor classifications.

(3) Certification Procedures and Fees. Certification procedures and fees for Irrigation Specialty Contractors shall be the same as those provided for the certification of other contractors as set forth in Sections 489.109, 489.111, 489.113, 489.114, 489.115 and 489.116, F.S., and related rules.

(4) Irrigation systems used for agricultural purposes shall not be included within the scope of this rule.

Rulemaking Authority 455.213, 489.108 FS. Law Implemented 489.105(3)(q), 489.113(6), 489.115, 489.116, 489.117, 489.118 FS. History–New 2-13-13.

Extension from EPA RRP Rule

EPA has extended the training expiration date for many certified renovators. This was done so if the proposed changes of January 2015 are finalized, many more renovators will be able to take advantage of those changes. Affected expiration dates are based on when the previous course was taken (see table below).

Note: The extensions do not apply to firm certifications.

  Renovator Training Expiration Information
Date course completed Expiration 
On or before
March 31, 2010
March 31, 2016
From April 1, 2010
– March 31, 2011
6 years from the date of course completion
On or after
April 1, 2011
No extension provided – Expiration is 5 years from the date of course completion

Renovator certification expiration date is July 1, 2015

epa_leadsafecertfirm__2Renovator certification is typically for 5 years from the date of course completion. However, in 2009, EPA extended the 5-year certification of renovators who took an EPA accredited renovator training before April 22, 2010 until July 1, 2015. The extension ensured that renovators who received training early, before the regulations work practice standards were effective, weren’t penalized for doing so. Renovators seeking re-certification who complete a 4-hour refresher training before the expiration of their current certification are certified for a period of five years from the date they complete the refresher course, not from the date of expiration of their previous certification. Renovators will have to take the 8-hour course if they fail to take the refresher training before the expiration of their current certificate.

Residential Pool/Spa Servicing Specialty Contractors

New License…

The Construction Industry Licensing Board has developed a new specialty license for the repair and servicing of residential swimming pools, hot tubs or spas. The scope of work permitted to be performed by a residential pool/spa servicing specialty contractor can be found in Rule 61G4-15.040, Florida Administrative Code.

Previously, most contractors providing such services were required to obtain a certified pool/spa servicing contractor’s license under s. 489.105(3)(l), F.S., which required experience in servicing and repair of both residential and commercial pools. Many contractors who specialized in the repair and servicing of only residential pools, spas and hot tubes were unable to obtain licensure or were required to obtain local competency cards in each local jurisdiction. The CILB developed the certified residential pool/spa servicing specialty contractor category to permit licensure of these contractors on a state wide basis.

Unlicensed Contractors

Richard Elzey states the following are red flags for Unlicensed contractors:

  • newspaper ads that don’t list the contractor’s certification number
  • a large down payment is required (If you are doing a big job, the Consumer Watchdog recommends you pay the supplier. That way you know the building supplies were paid for and nobody can come after you if your contractor doesn’t pay the bill.)
  • Statements like “it will be cheaper if you obtain your own permit”
  • Verbal contracts
  • The contractor works on weekends or after hours
  • A building permit is obtained by someone other than the contractor

When ever you see this report to “Code Enforcement”. A lot of people think… they can do it cheaper. But what happens when they 1/2 do it or take the money and run? You have very little recourse to get your money back.

FEE HOLIDAY – for Home Inspectors & Mold Svc.

There will be a FEE HOLIDAY for home inspectors who are renewing their license (active or inactive) in the 2014 renewal cycle. This means that home inspectors will only need to pay a $5.00 unlicensed activity fee in order to renew their license for the next two years. The fee must be paid before July 31, 2014 when the renewal period ends to avoid other fees. All licensees will be sent a renewal application which can be returned to the department with the $5.00 unlicensed activity fee or renew online through their individual account.

Please contact the department at 850.487.1395 if you have any questions, problems renewing or logging into your account.

Workplace Gossip

Workplace gossip is a serious issue. While many of us participate in the gossip pipeline (often without really thinking about it), workplace gossip can be exceedingly damaging both to individuals and the company in general. Here are some of the destructive results of gossip in the workplace:

• Wasted time and productivity as a result of excessive time exchanging “gossip  information.”
• Circulation of false rumors and either heightened fear or false raised expectations.
• Severe erosion of trust of others in the workplace.
• Severe erosion of staff morale.
• Hurt feelings and the possibility of reprisals.
• Creation of a “toxic” work environment.

These are serious outcomes. Gossip can and should be dealt with from at least two “angles.”  Management staff can play a role in facing down workplace gossip, as can individual employees.  When both management and employees actively try to cut down the gossip, the results can be surprisingly positive.