DBPR Unlicensed Activity Search in Manatee/Sarasota Counties

Dear Friends, 

Over the past few weeks, Floridians statewide have been affected by unexpected tornadoes and rainstorms that resulted in devastating damage to their homes or businesses. Structural damage resulting from tornadoes or severe storms often requires construction services performed by licensed construction contractors. After the emotional toll that natural disasters may cause, it’s crucial that consumers protect themselves from unlicensed individuals to avoid further financial stress or safety concerns. 

Unfortunately, it’s common for unlicensed individuals to take advantage of homeowners after a natural disaster strikes by offering to make repairs for dubiously low prices, performing substandard or shoddy work and often leaving without finishing a job. Our goal at DBPR is to make it easier for you to make good decisions for your family when selecting a construction contractor to make repairs to your damaged home or business. 

Prior to hiring a contractor, signing a contract or making any payments, consumers should contact their insurance company to confirm coverage, verify the state license of a contractor, get written estimates from several licensed contractors and always check references. These simple steps can help ensure your home is taken care of and repairs are kept to professional standards. Once you’ve identified the licensed contractor you’d like to hire, make sure the written contract includes the contractor’s name, street address, telephone number, state license number, a description of work to be completed, completion date, warranty agreements and a notice of consumers’ rights under the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund for contracts involving general, residential and building contractors. 

In response to the widespread tornado damage, DBPR investigators are actively canvassing the Sarasota, Manatee and Cape Coral areas to catch unlicensed individuals attempting to prey on homeowners with tornado damage and reminding consumers to verify licenses and report suspected unlicensed activity. I am urging consumers in these areas to use caution when making hiring decisions and report any suspected unlicensed activity directly to DBPR by calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 866-532-1440 or using the free DBPR Mobile app. 

Unlicensed activity can cause undue harm to both homeowners and licensed professionals. By remaining alert and keeping a lookout for unlicensed activity following a storm or natural disaster, you can help DBPR protect the comfort and safety of our neighbors, families and friends. My heart goes out to the families and businesses impacted by the recent storm damage, and I wish to remind consumers that DBPR is here to help alleviate the unnecessary financial and safety risks associated with unlicensed individuals. 


Ken Lawson�s Signature

Ken Lawson

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:


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PSA Drug Free Manatee


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Happy New Year!!


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Letter from DBPR Secretary

Dear Friends,

The New Year is right around the corner and as we head into 2016, I want to reflect back on what an amazing year 2015 was! I am so thankful for the endless support and encouragement I received from my fellow employees and licensees, and I’m also exceptionally proud of the successes we saw as a team this year.

Florida’s economy is thriving, and it’s easier than ever for job creators to succeed in our state. As Governor Scott celebrates the milestone of creating more than one million private sector jobs since December 2010, I’d like to recognize DBPR’s hardworking licensees who play an important role in Florida’s current economic success.

DBPR saw an abundance of industry growth in 2015, which means more confidence in our economy and better job opportunities for Florida families. Take a look at the growth some of the professions regulated by DBPR saw in just the past year:


Licenses Issued in 2014

Licenses Issued in 2015*

Percent Increase

Certified Public Accountants




Barbers & Cosmetology




Construction Contractors




Real Estate




*Year-to-date total as of December 28, 2015

It’s always exciting to see success and growth emerging from businesses and professionals in the state of Florida. I am dedicated to ensuring Florida remains the best place to live and get a job. I look forward to the beginning of 2016 and the economic success that is sure to come as we continue working together as a team. Thank you for allowing us to serve you, and have a safe and happy New Year!


Ken Lawson�s Signature

Ken Lawson

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:


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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

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2016 Holiday Schedule

2016 Holiday Schedule

DateHolidayDay of WeekDays Closed
Jan. 1 New Year's Day Friday 1 day
Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday 1 day
Feb. 15 Presidents' Day Monday 1 day
May 30 Memorial Day Monday  1 day 
July 4 Independence Day Monday 1 day
Sept. 5 Labor Day Monday 1 day
Nov. 11 Veterans' Day Friday 1 day
Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Day  Thursday 1 day
Nov. 25 Thanksgiving Friday Friday 1 day
Dec. 23 Christmas Eve Observed Friday 1 day
Dec. 26 Christmas Day Observed Monday 1 day
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2016 Board Member Forum Coming Up

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2016 Holiday Schedule

16 HS

C&S follows the official Manatee/Sarasota County holiday schedule.    


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Happy Thanksgiving!


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Smash The Home Tax Press Conference

Learn about this hidden tax and contact your represnetative to vote no on House Bill 203.

Watch the Smash The Home Tax press conference here.   Watch press conference media coverage here.



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Happy Labor Day 2015

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Good News! Erika has Dissipated!

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Erika Heads to Suncoast Bringing Heavy Rains


Based on the most recent storm report, Erika is not likely to produce a lot of high winds to our area but will leave about 10 to 20 inches of rain.   C&S will continue to monitor the storm throughout the weekend and into the week.  

In the event emergency action is needed, you can see our emergency procedures here.   While C&S will be concentrating our attention on the common grounds and common elements of the community, for your convenience you can see the ABC 7 Suncoast Hurricane Guide here for important information for homeowners and condo owners.  

Hopefully Erika will be mild and we will post additional information as needed. 


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CALL 2015 Community Legislative Guide


The Community Association Leadership Lobby has released their 2015 Legislative Guide.  The new laws and changes to the laws that affect Florida community associations are addressed.  

Click on the image to read or download the 2015 Guide.  


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Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

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New IRS Tax Rule/Penalties Start July 1st

Based on information in the below news story link, the new IRS rule and penalty begins July 1st and may affect many community associations that pay all or part of the insurance for their employees.  We are reviewing the new law and will provide additional information when available.  

Update:  Senator Chuck Grassley introduced an amendment to the Affordable Care Act this year to stop this penalty against small employers trying to help their employees. Unfortunately the amendment, as reported by his office, did not get out of the Finance Committee as a different bill was brought forward "to fix another Obamacare problem."

It is hoped that Congress will pass an amendment to correct this problem.


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C&S Presents Board Certification Class

C&S is presenting a Board Certification class for board members of their client communities on June 23, at 6:30 PM at the Comfort Inn located at the intersection of I-75 and Highway 64.  New board members are required by Statute to become certified within 90 days of being elected or appointed to the board.  

Class materials will be provided and seating is limited so we must know in advance that you wish to attend.  Please call Janet Fernandez at 941-758-9454 ext. 121.  Our annual Board Member Forum in February of each year is open to all communities, however the class on June 23 is only for C&S clients.  There is no charge to attend. 

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Florida Again Number One For Community Associations

During 2014, Florida remained the number one state for community associations with 47,100. That is 7,900,000 Floridians living in community associations.  Nationally Community Association value is $4.95 trillion.   For a look at all the numbers see the Community Association Institute (CAI) 2014 Statistical Review.   

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Pickin' Picnic Memorial Day Weekend

Realize Bradenton will rock Bradenton's Riverwalk Memorial Day weekend with the fourth Pickin' Picnic 2015 showcasing the region’s music scene. C&S is an event sponsor.  
3:00pm – 4:00pm Chasing Jonah
4:15pm – 5:15pm Hymn For Her
5:30pm – 6:30pm The Dram
6:45pm – 8:15pm Lions After Dark
8:30pm – 10:00pm Have Gun, Will Travel


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Senate Passes Bad Bill - Needs Major Surgery

Roger Kesselbach: Bad bill for homeowners needs major surgery


Florida’s homeowners and neighborhoods need a doctor.  We need someone who can perform surgery on a very bad bill, a bill that sticks homeowners in the heart with what amounts to a legislatively mandated dues increase.  I want to be crystal clear about this: CS/CS/CS/SB 736 aka, the “estoppel bill,” will force homeowners’ dues to go up.  Here’s how:


The Florida Senate passed a bill that requires condominium and homeowners’ associations to cap the cost of preparing a legal document known as an estoppel certificate. Sometimes these documents take many hours, accountants and lawyers to prepare in order to make sure they are accurate. When that happens, the cost goes up. It’s that simple. That’s how the free-market works.


These certificates are not easy to prepare. We must verify the absolute correct address of the property, resolve any inconsistencies in it, make sure the owner’s information is also perfectly accurate (oftentimes either through a marriage, divorce, or other significant life events, someone’s name can and will change), and then the collection status must be verified and supported via documentation. This part of preparation alone can be especially complex when the homeowner has a large number of outstanding charges, many of which are often disputed. Further, assessment levels can differ from home to home and condominium and homeowners association boards of directors, who are generally volunteer community residents untrained in such matters, often must have professional help in verifying the pay-off figures and ensure the certificates are correctly completed.  In short, even a so-called, “simple” estoppel certificate can take many hours to accurately prepare.


And this must be stressed; these things HAVE to be accurate because when a homeowner fails to pay thousands in past dues or fees and sells their home, the neighbors end up stuck with the bill if they are not.  But the Senate has said that not only will homeowners no longer be guaranteed payment, the actual price we can charge will be capped at an absurdly low amount. This price-fixing move will force neighbors to pay the extra cost of preparing these documents.


The Senate has decided that the best role of government is to interfere in a private transaction and set an artificial limit on what one party may charge another. It’s not just morally reprehensible; it is flat out unfair to homeowners who will now be forced to pay the extra cost.


The bill is now headed to the Florida House – the last place it can be fixed. The Florida House is the last hope for homeowners and neighborhoods. The Florida House is the last stop for true conservatives to step up and say, “We believe in less government, not a government that believes in price-fixing and government-imposed caps.”  And I ask because this session, the voices of homeowners are not being heard. We – actual real live homeowners are going to pay the price for this bad legislation. 


This bill will put an unnecessary burden on Florida home and condominium owners and on the association volunteers who donate their time to manage the not-for-profit community associations for the residents. It is the homeowners who will be footing the bills for the balance of the cost of estoppel certificate because of the arbitrary and artificial caps this bill impose, costs that delinquent owners should be paying, not their neighbors.


It is these small not-for-profit association volunteer boards who will be stuck trying to jump through legal hoops knowing that their communities may no longer be able to afford the costs caused by delinquent owners. It is they who will be stuck tracking real estate transactions that the association they manage should NOT be involved in in the first place.


And the Florida House – where this bill now resides – is the last stop where this bill can be thrown on the table, put under the knife and surgically repaired.


So I ask, “Is there a doctor in the House?”


Roger Kesselbach is president of the Space Communities Association, a non-profit all volunteer organization representing nearly 20,000 residential units and their owners in Brevard County. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Column courtesy of Context Florida. 

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4301 32nd Street West
Suite A-20
Bradenton, Florida 34205
Phone: (941) 758-9454
Fax: (941) 753-3062


4672 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, Florida 34232
Phone: (941) 377-3419
Fax: (941) 377-6218

Saint Petersburg

111 2nd Avenue North-East
Suite 900
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701
Phone: (727) 456-0027
Fax: (866) 890-0548


871 Venetia Bay Boulevard
Suite 230
Venice, Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 786-3552
Fax: (866) 890-0548
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