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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Friday, Jul. 15, 2022 3 weeks ago

Tampa boosts efforts to shut down illegal construction

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The city has created a team to focus on stopping illegal construction sites and unlicensed contractors.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

Tampa is cracking down on illegal construction.

The city announced July 15 that it has created a Construction Activity Compliance Team, which will focus on stopping unpermitted projects, especially those led by unlicensed contractors.

The four-person team will be made up of a fraud investigator, two code enforcement officers and one office support specialist.

By having a dedicated unit investigating complaints, the city believes it can streamline the enforcement process that to this point was handled by code enforcement, an agency with a long list of responsibilities. The compliance team, the city says, will deal specifically with illegal construction and issue Stop-Work orders and Notices of Violation.

The objective is to shut down the work sites and the contractors who “regularly break the law and leave homeowners with an oftentimes expensive and difficult problem to resolve.”  

The city has received about 2,000 complaints dealing with illegal construction since 2019.

One reason for the creating a team to focus on the issue is the result of “a growing trend of contractors continuing to work on their projects, despite receiving a Stop-Work Order,” the city says.

Under the new system, a Notice of Violation will be issued at the same time as the Stop-Work Order. This will immediately start the the legal process and set a deadline for contractors to come into compliance and start fining them up to $1,000 per day if they don’t meet the deadline.

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