Hurricane Ian Prompts Emergency Orders That Impact Florida Contractors
As Florida continues with recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian blasted through the state, officials are easing some of the requirements that apply to Florida contractors. On October 1, 2022, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued Emergency Order 2022-03 as part of the relief effort. By removing some of the limitations on contractors, particularly roofers, the Emergency Order aims to facilitate rebuilding by those willing to help – and who would otherwise be prevented from doing so. The provisions impact counties from the eastern side of the Panhandle to Key West, including South Florida’s Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade Counties.
The Emergency Order retroactively covers all building permit applications submitted from September 22, and there are two key provisions Florida contractors must note if they seek to assist with hurricane recovery. It is important to consult with a Florida contractor representation lawyer about the details, since you do not want to run afoul of the laws to provide help. A summary is useful for background.
- Effects for Roofing Work: By statute and DBPR regulations, a general contractor must subcontract all work for roofing, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, and related projects to contractors with the respective credentials. The only exception is where the GC holds a state certificate or registration in the relevant trade classification.
By issuing the Emergency Order, DBPR has temporarily suspended the licensing requirement as it pertains to roofing work. A GC does not need to hire a subcontractor for repair or installation, and the provisions apply to any roof type. Keep in mind that there is a legal factor that is NOT affected: You still cannot hold yourself out as a roofing contractor unless you hold the license – even though you are allowed to handle roof work.
- Geographic Limitations for Registered Contractors: A second important component of the Emergency order deals with the registration of specialty contractors. Again, the provisions intend to remove restrictions on the valuable services contractors can provide as part of hurricane recovery.
Under nonemergency conditions, whenever a contractor is engaged in certain construction services, they are required to be registered in the county or municipality where the work will be performed. With the Emergency Order, a registered contractor can engage in construction activities in any of the designated 44 counties. There are some logistics and requirements to keep in mind:
- You must submit your valid registration, information about workers’ comp coverage, and details about insurance to county officials where you will be working.
- The order extends to all specialty contractors, not just roofing.
- If the requirements of the order are met, you cannot face discipline for working as an unlicensed contractor.
A Florida Contractor Representation Attorney Can Provide Additional Details
Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. stays current on the latest in Florida construction law, so we are knowledgeable about the recent Emergency Order and monitoring developments. To learn more about the details, please call 561-626-8880 or visit our website. We can set up a consultation at our offices in Jupiter to discuss your circumstances.