NOTICE OF CONSUMER RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES RECOVERY FUND
You have certain rights under Florida law if you have suffered damages caused by a state-licensed contractor or a construction company with whom you have signed a contract. State law requires that you be provided with this notice of your rights regarding the Construction industries Recovery Fund, including how and where you can file a claim against the Fund for reimbursement of any damages you have suffered. You may be eligible for reimbursement if you have suffered monetary loss due to certain acts (described below) by the contractor, financially responsible officer or business organization licensed under Chapter 489, Part I, Florida Statutes. The fund is available only in cases where the contract was signed and the violation occurred on or after July 1, 1993.
Who is Eligible?
In order to seek compensation from the Construction industries Recovery Fund, you must have:
- Entered into a written contract with a licensed contractor for work on residential real property;
- Commercial legal action against the contractor, financially responsible officer or business organization; and
Suffered a financial loss due to the contractor:
- Knowingly violating applicable city, county or state building codes or laws.
- Committing mismanagement or misconduct in the practice of contracting that causes financial harm to a customer:
- Abandoning a construction project for more than 90 days; or
- Signing a false statement claiming that the work is bonded, that all payments to subcontractors have been made, or claiming to have provided certain worker’s compensation and insurance protection.
Florida laws provide specific definitions for determining whether a contractor’s actions may constitute one of these violations. See §489-129(1)(d), (h), (k), (l), Fla. Stat. In addition, you must notify the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) of your claim by certified mail at the time you commence legal action.
Filing a complaint against a contractor is not the same as filing a claim against the Fund. Even if you file a complaint against a contractor with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), you still have to give the CILB notice of your claim and you will also be required to file a Construction Industries Recovery Fund Claim Form with the CILB. To request a Construction Industries Recovery Fund Claim Form or to receive more information about the Fund, write to:
Construction Industry Licensing Board
7960 Arlington Expressway
Jacksonville, Florida 32211-7467
Phone: (904) 359-6310
If you have any questions and/or want to file a complaint with the DBPR against the contractor, the financially responsible officer and/or the business organization, please write to the Complaints Section, DBPR, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0782.
Conditions For Recovery
In order to recover from the Fund, you must be an individual – not a company. The Recovery Fund is a last resort. Before you can receive any money from the Fund, you must have obtained a final judgement from a Florida court or a restitution order from the CILB based on the types of violations of law already mentioned. Both the violation of law and the signing of the construction contract must have occurred on or after July 1, 1993. Before the Fund will pay you any money, you must show that you have made every effort to determine if there are any assets from which you can recover all or part of the money you are owed. If so, you must try to recover before you can collect from the Fund. You have to file a claim for recovery with the Fund within 2 years of the time the violation of law happens or within 2 years of the time you find out or should have found out about the violation of law. No claim can be made more than 4 years after the time the violation of law happened.
Payments From the Fund
The Fund does not pay post-judgement interest, punitive damages, or attorney fees. The Fund only pays what you have mot yet collected for actual or compensatory damages. The Fund pays the lesser of up to $25,000 per claim, $25,000 per transaction, or $50,000 per contractor.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND, SEE §§ 489.140 TO 489.143, FLA
STAT. AND RULES 61G4-21.001 TO 61G4-21.005, FLA ADMIN. CODE