Broward County cracks down on handymen

Michael Hamaway
Michael Hamaway

Broward County’s strict enforcement of construction contracting regulations is threatening to squeeze out the casual handyman.

Many handymen like Mike Burress are being slapped with hefty fines for odd jobs they perform without a contractor’s license. Burress was given a $500 fine for advertising his services on a personal website without displaying certification. Attorney Michael Hamaway of the law firm Mombach, Boyle, Hardin & Simmons in Fort Lauderdale has taken the case pro bono and hopes to define if and how a handyman could operate in Broward County, the Daily Business Review reported.

Florida law allows an exemption to mandatory certification if the work is “casual” and under $1,000. Those jobs can’t include complicated components like load-bearing structures or toxic chemicals.

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Attorney Joel Metter, Broward’s consumer protection supervisor, believes the county can go further than the state exemption to ensure unqualified work does not proliferate.

“The exemption is so wide that everybody walks through it,” Metter told the newspaper. “There is no practical way to monitor such activity.” [Daily Business Review] – Frank Maradiaga