Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
Posted: 8/29/2004 6:59:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 7:28:05 AM EST by Airwolf]
I REALLY despise reading shit like this. Common sense and the whole idea of people being able to help one another in times of need without the fucking gooberment sticking their noses in is simply dead in this country.



www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/082804/b0128howell.html

Thiells contractor tries to help friend, gets slammed by regulators


By SULAIMAN BEG
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: August 28, 2004)

Anthony Howell flew to Florida last week to help out a friend whose home was badly damaged by Hurricane Charley. Now, he may face a $5,000 fine and a felony charge.

"This is such a nightmare," said the 25-year-old Thiells man. "My only intention was to help my friend."

Howell, a Rockland County licensed contractor who runs Triad Builders in the hamlet, said his friend, Alex Arzoomanian, had called him on Aug. 14, because Arzoomanian's home in Kissimmee had been damaged by the hurricane and subsequent thunderstorms.

Arzoomanian had taken over the home after his mother died in May and had not had time to get homeowners insurance. His 4,000-square-foot shingled roof had taken a beating, and after the numerous Florida contractors he had called said they couldn't help him immediately, Howell offered to take a week off work to help.

So Arzoomanian paid for the $400 plane ticket and picked up his friend of 15 years at the airport on Aug. 16.

They began repairing the roof the next day.

"The roof was completely damaged," Howell said. "It needed to be redone. There was a lot of water damage. We caught it in the nick of time. He could have lost his ceilings and his personal effects, stuff that can't be replaced."

Three days into the job, Howell was approached by two deputies from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office and two investigators from the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation, who gave him a cease-and-desist order.

Under Florida law, only contractors licensed by the state may engage in roof repair. It carries up to a $5,000 fine. Not to mention that the practice of unlicensed contracting becomes a third-degree felony when the governor has declared a state of emergency.

All this was told to Howell and Arzoomanian during the 45 minutes when the two tried to explain to the officials that he was "just a friend helping a friend," Arzoomanian said.

"They were being real awful. They were just nasty," said Arzoomanian, who has lived in the house for seven years. "They weren't believing our story. They didn't care what the truth was."

The two friends had finished portions of the roof and were allowed to cover up exposed wood, but the investigators would not let Howell finish a portion of the roof that was covered with a tarp, which could — and later did — get ripped off by the wind, the two friends said.

Kristen Ploska, press secretary for the state's Business and Professional Regulation Department, said the department was looking into the case and was trying to investigate the circumstances.

"We want to make sure to get this straight and make sure no one blames somebody that shouldn't be blamed," she said.

In the past two weeks, the department has issued 52 cease-and-desist orders and made 10 arrests, Ploska said. Since the incidents are judged case by case, Ploska said, she was not sure if Howell's case would be referred to the State Attorney's Office.

"We are out in force. We want to make sure no one gets scammed," she said.

State officials have been cracking down on unlicensed contractors since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, when many contractors went to Florida and overcharged residents, she said.

Howell said he applauded the state's efforts to protect its residents. He and Arzoomanian just don't think he falls in that category. Howell said he didn't make any money but instead lost business because he was away for a week.

"There was nothing in it for him," Arzoomanian said yesterday by phone from New York, where he was visiting family. "If he was trying to make money he would have brought his crew and his truck."

Howell, who came back to New York on Sunday, now worries that if the authorities pursue the case, if he gets pulled over for something like a broken taillight, a background check would show that there was a warrant out for him and he would extradited to Florida.

"I'm nervous," he said. "It's a major inconvenience. It's messing up my life."
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:09:44 AM EST
How did the cops find out he was a contractor to begin with? Why not just stick with the "I'm a friend that came to help" and not mention his day job?

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:13:56 AM EST
Your gonna have to shoot me off of my roof copper!

Stupid people in uniform.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:18:56 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:25:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
How did the cops find out he was a contractor to begin with? Why not just stick with the "I'm a friend that came to help" and not mention his day job?

Kharn



#1) Perhaps he was not aware of the new laws in FL.

#2) When questioned by the Man, he probably said, when told he should not be up there on the roof, "It's OK, I do this for a living. I know what I'm doing...."

And the po-po then said, "Good, I know what I'm doing too- placing you under arrest."

Never bring the Man into your life if you can help it.......
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:26:58 AM EST
Unless they're planning on fixing my roof for me they sure as hell better find somthing else to do.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:27:27 AM EST
I'm kinda wondering how the cops found out he was a contractor...

Aside from that, the state should be responsible for any damage that occurs after they halt repairs in a situation like this. I'm sure that it would make them a bit less willing to play crony for the local construction Nazis.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:32:53 AM EST
"They're doing for the residents, the poor residents who are so shocked that they can get scammed out of more money by wanna-be contractors"

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:34:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 7:36:39 AM EST by CAMPYBOB]
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:36:00 AM EST
"We are the government and we here to help, now get off that roof and get down here so I can give you your citation for trying to save your house."
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 7:45:14 AM EST
Oh yeah, where was that thread bashing trial lawyers again?
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:21:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tortfeasor:
Oh yeah, where was that thread bashing trial lawyers again?




Which one????


Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:23:12 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:30:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By lvgunner777:

Originally Posted By Tortfeasor:
Oh yeah, where was that thread bashing trial lawyers again?




Which one????





I know---there are plenty!

Surely the guy helping his friend out will get his case dismissed by some common sense prosecutor, though....but if he doesn't, looks like he will need some help.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:31:42 AM EST
If the guy wasn't getting paid, then how could he be an unlicensed contractor?
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:32:31 AM EST
The assholes should have to pay for any damages caused by them forcing him to stop repairing his house.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:35:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 9:38:33 AM EST by Drakich]
You can probably thank Florida's local contractors. And it has nothing to do with out-of-staters "overcharging" and everything to do with out-of-staters competing with locals, so the locals complained and got a felony law passed to stifle the competition. It's all about HIGHER prices to the consumer.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:37:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:


This could only happen in California and never in fair minded conservative Florida.




Get off your high horse.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:18:25 AM EST
Contracting in Fl. has gotten to be impossible. I use to be a very small time contractor, one house every two years, never any claims or leagal problems with my custermers - but I quit. Too many hassels just to keep and maintain a license, too much red tape with the county countractors board, and you can't get any affordable insurance anywhere - even if you have never had a claim. I think this problem is going to come to a head soon, I hope.
For good contractors thats never been in trouble, they need to fast tract their license and provide afordable insurance. Other wise all that will be left in Fl. is huge contracting companys and crooks - the little honest guy will be gone.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:25:33 AM EST
Where to begin?

This country is on the far side of the slippery slope, one can only hope we continue to slide down it faster and faster so we can hit the bottom and start the rebuilding process.

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:29:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 10:31:42 AM EST by Merrell]

Originally Posted By sailhertoo:
Contracting in Fl. has gotten to be impossible. I use to be a very small time contractor, one house every two years, never any claims or leagal problems with my custermers - but I quit. Too many hassels just to keep and maintain a license, too much red tape with the county countractors board, and you can't get any affordable insurance anywhere - even if you have never had a claim. I think this problem is going to come to a head soon, I hope.
For good contractors thats never been in trouble, they need to fast tract their license and provide afordable insurance. Other wise all that will be left in Fl. is huge contracting companys and crooks - the little honest guy will be gone.



I knew lawyers would reappear in this thread...

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:40:10 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:41:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By Drakich:
You can probably thank Florida's local contractors. And it has nothing to do with out-of-staters "overcharging" and everything to do with out-of-staters competing with locals, so the locals complained and got a felony law passed to stifle the competition. It's all about HIGHER prices to the consumer.





DING DING DING DING, we have a WINNER..........
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:08:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 12:09:33 PM EST by Kaliburz]
[asshat mode]

Well, who's fault is it for living in a (fill in natural disaster type here) area any ways????

[/asshat mode]





Lets face it, if you live in an area w/ natural disasters, eventually the rebuild/repair will catch up to you. I suppose it is understandable that people will take advantage of others who are in distress..... but, as already stated, it probably was FL contractors who wanted the hog the pie to themself.....

And for I..... the only major natural disaster around here is 1) volcanos 2) mild earthquakes. Last volcano was Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and then a earthquake in 99 or 2000 (hit west side of WA state)..... oh and then the 100yr flood in 95/96....

I'm waiting for either Mt. Adams or Mt. Rainer to blow....... or maybe one in OR will let loose.... one is suppose to go anytime soon. With the definition of soon as any time in 100yrs....


But still...... I feel for the FL folks.... talk about lives being turned upside down.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:35:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By 1shott:

Originally Posted By Drakich:
You can probably thank Florida's local contractors. And it has nothing to do with out-of-staters "overcharging" and everything to do with out-of-staters competing with locals, so the locals complained and got a felony law passed to stifle the competition. It's all about HIGHER prices to the consumer.


DING DING DING DING, we have a WINNER..........


Yep. I'm a licensed contractor in CT. I know how it works. We don't like outsiders coming in and taking our slice of the pie away. They are the same way.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:39:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:


This could only happen in California and never in fair minded conservative Florida.



Someone from Kali trying to comment on another state being fucked up. What a laugh.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:39:54 PM EST
Every summer we have tons of contractor rip-offs, either travleing groups or in state trouble makers. Driveway paving, and roof repairs seem to be the areas they specialize in.

I understand FL wanting to regulate contractors, especially in fields where rip-offs are common. Much easier to enforce to make it a crime to do home repair w/o a permit, then to try and prove there was overcharging or shoddy work done intentionally.

However, the article would seem to indicate the law was applied to a situation it probably wasn't intended. The homeowner and the good samaritan know each other, so a rip-off is unlikely. The good samaritan is apparently volunteering his time, again making a rip off unlikely. In this circumstance the only "intent" is to help a friend. They should let them be.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:41:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kaliburz:
[asshat mode]

Well, who's fault is it for living in a (fill in natural disaster type here) area any ways????

[/asshat mode]





Lets face it, if you live in an area w/ natural disasters, eventually the rebuild/repair will catch up to you. I suppose it is understandable that people will take advantage of others who are in distress..... but, as already stated, it probably was FL contractors who wanted the hog the pie to themself.....

And for I..... the only major natural disaster around here is 1) volcanos 2) mild earthquakes. Last volcano was Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and then a earthquake in 99 or 2000 (hit west side of WA state)..... oh and then the 100yr flood in 95/96....

I'm waiting for either Mt. Adams or Mt. Rainer to blow....... or maybe one in OR will let loose.... one is suppose to go anytime soon. With the definition of soon as any time in 100yrs....


But still...... I feel for the FL folks.... talk about lives being turned upside down.



Actually, Kissimmee is quite a ways inland and this is not a frequent occurence.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 1:13:27 PM EST
Well, helping a buddy out is admirable but if you need a permit/license to do the work, then you need the permit/license. Florida requires roofs to be repaired and put on specifically for high winds. It's probably not much different than any other roof, there's no doubt the buddy could handle the work. However, being from NY doesn't mean he knows FL building code. I know if I had to replace my whole roof (not just new shingles, but a new roof), I'd need a permit, and get inspected, etc. It's no different for the guy that owns that house.

So this guy gets this house from his dead mother. He's had it for four months and hasn't gotten ANY insurance. Along comes a hurricane (not exactly a rare thing this time of year in FL) and his roof blows off. Well, he should have had insurance. He may have had a hard time getting it, or whatever the case may be, but I know I wouldn't own a house one day without some kind of insurance. Anyway, he calls his buddy, who is not licensed in the state of FL, but is probably more than competent enough. So his buddy helps him out. He's from another state and doesn't know dick about FL building code. So they slap a roof on there. Of course now this roof isn't up to FL code, hasn't been inspected, and the state hasn't gotten it's cut from permits and licenses. You're suprised that they made him stop?

Fast forward to six months down the road. The home owner sells it to some dude, and this dude is stuck with a new roof that needs to be totally redone (if he ever finds out) or blows off in the first tropicalstorm (if he doesn't).

There's a reason for building codes. Alot of it has to do with lining the cash box of the state and cities no doubt, but alot of it has to do with keeping roofs on in winds, or keeping houses from burning down, or coming apart in an earthquake or whatever.

I don't think the contractor should get hammered for helping a buddy out, but think about the story for a second. Aside from the "piece of the pie" angle, there are some valid reasons for regulating this kind of work.

Ross
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 8:56:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ross:
Well, helping a buddy out is admirable but if you need a permit/license to do the work, then you need the permit/license. Florida requires roofs to be repaired and put on specifically for high winds. It's probably not much different than any other roof, there's no doubt the buddy could handle the work. However, being from NY doesn't mean he knows FL building code. I know if I had to replace my whole roof (not just new shingles, but a new roof), I'd need a permit, and get inspected, etc. It's no different for the guy that owns that house.

So this guy gets this house from his dead mother. He's had it for four months and hasn't gotten ANY insurance. Along comes a hurricane (not exactly a rare thing this time of year in FL) and his roof blows off. Well, he should have had insurance. He may have had a hard time getting it, or whatever the case may be, but I know I wouldn't own a house one day without some kind of insurance. Anyway, he calls his buddy, who is not licensed in the state of FL, but is probably more than competent enough. So his buddy helps him out. He's from another state and doesn't know dick about FL building code. So they slap a roof on there. Of course now this roof isn't up to FL code, hasn't been inspected, and the state hasn't gotten it's cut from permits and licenses. You're suprised that they made him stop?

Fast forward to six months down the road. The home owner sells it to some dude, and this dude is stuck with a new roof that needs to be totally redone (if he ever finds out) or blows off in the first tropicalstorm (if he doesn't).

There's a reason for building codes. Alot of it has to do with lining the cash box of the state and cities no doubt, but alot of it has to do with keeping roofs on in winds, or keeping houses from burning down, or coming apart in an earthquake or whatever.

I don't think the contractor should get hammered for helping a buddy out, but think about the story for a second. Aside from the "piece of the pie" angle, there are some valid reasons for regulating this kind of work.

Ross



Quite true.......

We were not there....we only know what the story says.....

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 9:54:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Your gonna have to shoot me off of my roof copper!

Stupid people in uniform.




"I'm at the top of the world, Ma!"
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 10:38:36 PM EST


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By sailhertoo:
Contracting in Fl. has gotten to be impossible. I use to be a very small time contractor, one house every two years, never any claims or leagal problems with my custermers - but I quit. Too many hassels just to keep and maintain a license, too much red tape with the county countractors board, and you can't get any affordable insurance anywhere - even if you have never had a claim. I think this problem is going to come to a head soon, I hope.
For good contractors thats never been in trouble, they need to fast tract their license and provide afordable insurance. Other wise all that will be left in Fl. is huge contracting companys and crooks - the little honest guy will be gone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




I knew lawyers would reappear in this thread...



Not a lawyer, an honest builder.
I was just trying to attest to the fact that Fl is out of control with it's contracting laws - as evidenst with whats happing with this poor guy trying to help a friend. You can't even build a dog house in Fl w/out a permit or a license. They just keep adding laws and regulations.
Why can't people take responsibilty for themselves? For their own actions? Why does goverment try to take over for the people?
If you pay an out of state contractor $10,000 up front for a job and he splits, my gosh man, you should have known better. The government needs to put responsibility back with the people - insted of regulating them to death!
Anyway, I really feel bad for the guy and hope he is cleared of all charges soon.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:43:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
How did the cops find out he was a contractor to begin with?



Becuase he probubly used his contractors license and business connection to buy the supplies.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:57:07 AM EST
did not have time to buy insurance ---SINCE MAY!!!!!!!?!?!?!!!?!?!

mmmmkay...
Top Top