Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lazarus Realty

* State of California only * 

I sold a home last year and represented the Buyer. The seller's provided a 2 year roof certificate from a contractor recommended by her broker. Some problems developed with the roof and I contacted the Contractor (or so I thought) and he said that the Contractor under which the certificate was written was no longer in business but that he was covering all certificates written and making good on them. Well after months of not making any progress and a complaint from my buyer that she was not getting service I decided to get to the bottom of the situation.

Side note - I spoke with the broker who had recommended this sleezeball to her client and of course she had no clue.

I went to the Contractors State Licensing Board website and put in the license number that was on the certificate. It brought up a name a telephone number different from the one on the certificate so I called the number and spoke with the contractor and began to recite the problem to him. He said that he never heard of the address on the certificate, never signed it (and he didn't - it was signed by the guy who did the work) and that he had never heard of the the buyer! He said someone must have been operating under his license without his permission and that perhaps they got his license number from an add in the newspaper or something like that - he told me these sorts of things happen all the time...blah...blah...blah....

Well I told him that I was a licensed general contractor and would get to the bottom of the matter through his bonding agent and the CLSB. Then his story began to change and it turns out that although he continued to disavow any relationship to the guy who made out the certificate he told me he would call him and get back to me with more information. So about 15 minutes after I hang up he calls me back and tells me the guy is going to go out and make the repairs and then provides me with the guys cell phone number -- but mind you he still denies that he has any responsibility and that the job was not authorized by him. Obviously, given what little I know, I think he is lying to me and as time permits I intend to get to the bottom of the matter. In the mean time, the best advice I can give you is CHECK THE LICENSE NUMBER OF EVERY CONTRACTOR YOU HIRE OR INTEND TO HIRE. You might want to go further and make sure the phone number on your contract ( or certificate ) corresponds with the phone number on CSLB website.

I had another situation in which the Seller on a property I listed spent $2500 to get a roof certification from a licensed roofing contractor [she did this prior to having me list the property] and then shortly thereafter that same contractor had their license revoked. She had another contractor go out to give her an estimate and he said the roof was beyond repair. Little wonder the other contractor's license was revoked for FRAUD.


© Randy "Lazarus" McAtee
    Owner/Broker Lazarus Realty
    email me


Comments (3)

Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team
Thank you for the post, the story and the link.  I will bookmark and use it for reference.  Appreciated. 
Oct 30, 2007 04:39 PM
Barb Merrill
Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC - Tempe, AZ
GRI, Associate Broker
I can't stress this enough.  Always, always check the licensed contractor for validity and complaints.  You can avoid a lot of problems.
Oct 30, 2007 04:43 PM
Lance Zepeda
1-800-Got-Junk? - Anaheim, CA
Great advice.  You definitely have to Inspect what you Expect.  The cost of not doing so is too great.
Oct 30, 2007 05:04 PM

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