IBOL COMPLAINT MEMORANDUM

 

 

††††††††††† DATE:††††††††††† February 8, 2011

 

††††††††††† TO:††††††††††††††††† Idaho State Contractors Board

 

††††††††††† SUBJECT:††††† Investigative Report

 

Fiscal Year 2011 (to date)

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 137

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Including 62 insurance files.)

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 24

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 13

††††††††††††††††††††††† Remaining under investigation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 67

††††††††††††††††††††††† Awaiting Board determination†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 33

 

Fiscal Year 2010

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 310

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Including 125 insurance files.)

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 135

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed following disciplinary action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 71

††††††††††††††††††††††† Remaining under investigation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 71

††††††††††††††††††††††† Awaiting Board determination†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 22

 

Fiscal Year 2009

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 238

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Including 5 insurance files.)

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 81

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed following disciplinary action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 50

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 73

††††††††††††††††††††††† Remaining under investigation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 25

††††††††††††††††††††††† Awaiting Board determination†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 9

 

Fiscal Year 2008

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 394

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Including 109 insurance files.)

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 245

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed following disciplinary action†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 110

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 37

††††††††††††††††††††††† Awaiting Board determination†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2

 

Fiscal Year 2007

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 634

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Including 422 insurance files.)

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 558

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed following disciplinary action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 71

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5

 

Fiscal Year 2006

††††††††††† Total Complaints received†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 56

††††††††††† Status:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed by Board action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 45

††††††††††††††††††††††† Closed following disciplinary action††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10

††††††††††††††††††††††† Pending Legal Review††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1

 

For Board Determination:

 

Insurance Cases:

 

I-CON-2010-212, I-CON-2010-227, I-CON-2010-236, I-CON-2011-73, I-CON-2011-86, I-CON-2011-96, I-CON-2011-111, I-CON-2011-118, I-CON-2011-120, and I-CON-2011-136Rs failed to provide proof of liability insurance after IBOL received cancellation notices from Rsí insurance companies.Rsí registrations subsequently expired and have not been renewed.IBOL recommends the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-299, I-CON-2011-37, I-CON-2011-47, I-CON-2011-54, I-CON-2011-58, I-CON-2011-59, I-CON-2011-66, I-CON-2011-72, I-CON-2011-75, I-CON-2011-95, I-CON-2011-97, I-CON-2011-109, I-CON-2011-124, I-CON-2011-128, and I-CON-2011-137Rs failed to provide proof of liability insurance after IBOL received cancellation notices from Rsí insurance companies.Rs subsequently provided statements informing IBOL that Rs are out of business and requesting that Rsí registrations be cancelled.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-67, I-CON-2011-68, I-CON-2011-74, I-CON-2011-88, I-CON-2011-101 I-CON-2011-110, I-CON-2011-112, I-CON-2011-117, and I-CON-2011-123 Rs failed to provide proof of liability insurance after IBOL received cancellation notices from Rsí insurance companies.Rs subsequently provided documentation verifying current insurance coverage.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

Non-Insurance Cases:

 

I-CON-2008-138C alleged R installed a 3-rail vinyl fence but failed to fix a cracked post and loose rails that were under warranty.C failed to respond to the investigatorís multiple attempts to obtain warranty information or any documentation about the job.In addition, the investigator was unable to locate R because R has moved since the complaint was filed.Because C has not responded to the investigator, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2008-148C alleged R practiced contracting without registration.The investigator was unable to locate R after multiple attempts and was told that R has moved out of state.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-1C alleged R was hired as a sub and was paid in full, but filed a lien on Cís property.Investigation revealed that the general had failed to pay C and C was entitled to file the lien.(The Board has taken action against the general in a separate matter.)IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-17C alleged R failed to pay a subcontractor when R constructed a house for C.The subcontractor informed the investigator that he was eventually paid for the job and this matter has been resolved.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-151C alleged R was paid $30,000 to build a storage/craft shop and garden shed on Cís property, and after the foundation was poured, all work stopped and R never returned.C stated that he has had to obtain another loan to pay off the subcontractors and has had to contract with another company to finish the work.The investigator attempted to locate R but was unable to do so; individuals informed the investigator that they believe R has moved to the United Kingdom.In March 2010 C informed the investigator that he was compiling paperwork in support of his claim.However, over the course of one year, the investigator made 11 attempts to obtain documentation from C, but C never provided any documentation or responded to the investigatorís calls or letters.Based on a lack of documentation from C, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-176C alleged R failed to pay a supplier.Investigation revealed that R poured a concrete floor for C, failed to pay the concrete supplier, and the supplier filed a lien against Cís property.R informed the investigator that in early fall 2008 Rís company had several contractors fall behind on accounts receivables to R, which in turn caused R to get behind on Rís payments to suppliers.R stated that the company ended up with seven liens on seven properties from this supplier.R stated that he has worked hard to pay off the liens one by one, and has made sure that all things have been taken care of to the customersí satisfaction.C informed the investigator that the lien has been paid by R and that C wished to withdraw the complaint.Based on the above, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-191 and I-CON-2009-192C alleged Rs (husband and wife) were arrested for grand theft in connection with practicing as contractors, and Rs are not registered.Investigation revealed that, during the course of the investigation on this case, the Board entered a Final Order on 8/19/09 in another case against R husband for practicing without registration and ordered R to cease and desist from engaging in the business of or holding himself out as a contractor.On 11/10/09 R husband was convicted of grand theft.The investigation did not reveal any evidence that R wife had practiced contracting without registration or that R husband practiced contracting after the Boardís 8/19/09 Final Order.Because the Board had previously ordered R husband to cease and desist contracting without registration and no evidence was presented that R wife practiced without registration, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-216C alleged R failed to install a sprinkler system properly.Investigation revealed that R installed the system in the back yard of Cís property and another contractor had previously installed a system in the front yard.R stated that after the installation of the system, C was happy, thanked the workers and paid on time.R stated that C contacted him multiple times after changing the heads and changing the timer, and R worked with C to make C happy.R stated that after the system was installed, C called about a broken pipe on the system in the front yard and R fixed it without charge, even though it was not the system that R had installed.R stated that he visited Rís property to adjust heads 3-4 times without charge in an attempt to make C happy.C did not respond to the investigatorís multiple contact attempts.The investigation did not reveal any evidence to support the allegations; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-224C alleged R refinished Cís wood floors incorrectly.Investigation revealed that C paid R all but $1,000 of the $6,205 contract price to refinish the floors.R informed the investigator that when they started the job, they immediately had issues with C tidying and cleaning up the job site in the events after R left, and their tools would be in different places than where they had been left.R stated that C ended up with 2 or 3 floor finish puddles in the 900-sq. ft. floor and the finish started to shine and show signs of contamination.R stated that the finish representative could not find anything wrong with the finish used and could not determine the sources of contamination.R stated he felt that the edges of the floor were cleaned by a cleaning product such as Pledge in between the seal coat and the final coat.R stated that he offered to fix the problems, at his expense, but that C had other people look at the floor and give her bids.R stated that C decided that she did not want R back on the job.C demanded a $1,500 refund, and R stated that eventually the economy turned and he filed for bankruptcy, listing Cís case in the bankruptcy.Because C refused to give R an opportunity to correct the problem, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2009-229C alleged that R failed to complete work, failed to honor the warranty, and failed to complete the work in a workmanlike manner.Investigation revealed that R built a home for C and provided a one-year limited warranty.C signed off on the walk-through, and R completed various punch-list items (except those that fell within industry standards).In June 2009 C filed a complaint, alleging that R ďdeliberately and fraudulently misrepresentedĒ to them the price to build a home, what was included in the price, and the quality standards.C also alleged that Rís fraudulent actions cost C tens of thousands of dollars.A pro reviewer completed a thorough review of each of Cís allegations and did not find any evidence to support the allegations.The pro reviewer stated that, in his professional opinion, C simply wanted out of the agreement in order to not suffer the potential losses brought about by the declining market values.The pro reviewer did find, however, that R failed to provide C with the general contractor disclosure statements.When the investigator questioned R about the disclosures, R asked the investigator to explain what the disclosure requirement is and was concerned that he had failed to provide required documents to C.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure with a warning letter to R concerning the disclosure requirements.

 

I-CON-2010-26C alleged R failed to correct a defect in driveway concrete.Investigation revealed that C reported to R that the concrete was flaking two years after construction, outside of Rís one-year warranty.After being notified of the problem, R had two different concrete companies perform inspections of the concrete, and both companies stated it was their opinion that the damage was due to a chemical reaction that may have been from a de-icer or fertilizer.R stated that as a courtesy, R did replace the damaged portions of the driveway at no cost to C, and C informed the investigator that she is satisfied with Rís response.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-41C alleged R was paid in full to paint a building, repair a fence, and construct a set of steps, but R failed to complete the project.R informed the investigator that communications between C and R broke down to the point R felt he could no longer do the job.That same day, C informed the investigator that he and R had come to an agreement and that C was satisfied with the agreement and no longer wished to pursue the complaint.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-46 and I-CON-2010-47C alleged R poured a foundation for a garage that does not meet code and refuses to fix the problem.Investigation revealed that C, the homeowner, was acting as the general contractor and hired R to pour the 24Ē footings and stem walls, which would meet the code for installing the footings below the frost level.After the walls were poured, C was informed by the building inspector that the foundation walls were too low to prevent water from entering the garage and the walls needed to be raised by 12Ē.C then demanded a refund from R.Investigation revealed that the building permit was obtained by C, and that C had excavated the site.A pro review was conducted on the file, and the pro reviewer stated that R provided a written estimate which clearly stated ď2í stem walls,Ē C accepted the bid and the work was completed according to the written bid.The pro reviewer stated that had proper blueprints been submitted that showed the current elevations of the existing site and footings with a 36Ē stem wall, the work would have been done according to the prints.The pro reviewer stated that it is the general contractorsí responsibility to understand the current building codes and to provide the necessary construction drawings and details in order for subs to provide the work to required codes and to complete the work according to the drawings available.The pro reviewer stated that R acted in a competent and professional manner and found that there were no violations in the generally accepted standard of care in the practice of construction in Idaho.Finally, C stated that R failed to provide appropriate disclosures.However, I.C. 45-525 provides that only general contractors are required to provide the disclosures and specifically states that general contractors do not include subs.In this case, C was acting as the general contractor.Based upon the pro reviewerís review, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-108C alleged R was dishonest by billing C more than the contract amount.Investigation revealed that C hired R to do some landscaping and install a sprinkler drip system for $3,425.During the course of the job, C requested ďadd onsĒ such as mounded beds, outcropping boulders, pulling out shrubs, installing a drain box, installing sod, installing additional bark, and installing edging, which totaled $2,830.C paid the original contract amount but refused to pay the invoice for the add-ons.R eventually sued C in court and, after C paid R the $2,830, R dismissed the suit.The investigation did not support Cís allegation that R was dishonest; therefore, BOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-152 and I-CON-2010-153C alleged R practiced contracting without registration.According to the complaint, R, president of a development company, sold C, who owns a venture company, apartment units that are ďunlivable and unsaleable due to major latent defects.ĒThe investigator spoke with the property manager who stated that there are no latent defects with the buildings and that since the filing of the complaint, C has sold his company to R and has moved to California.The investigator attempted to contact C to obtain further information on Cís allegations, but was unable to locate C.The investigation did not reveal any evidence that R practiced as a contractor without registration; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-163C alleged R performed a re-roof in a faulty manner causing leaks in the roof and that R failed to warranty his work.Investigation revealed that stucco work was also performed shortly after the tile roof was installed.The city performed two inspections during the roof installation and approved the roof, the tile warranty representative inspected and approved the installation, and the individual who installed the gutters believed that the roof was installed properly.Cís insurance company hired a claims representative to inspect the project and determined the cause of the leak was the stucco contractor.A pro review was conducted on the file, and the pro reviewer stated that the evidence was insufficient to support Cís claims.The pro reviewer also stated that the evidence supports Rís assertion that the stucco work was performed after R installed the roof and was likely the cause of the leak.Based on the pro review, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-207C, a city clerk, alleged that R had obtained a business license from the city as an irrigation and curbing contractor but was not registered with the Board.R informed the investigator that he owns a curbing machine which he purchased to do work on his own property, and was helping a friend who owns a concrete business install curbing on the friendís property.R stated that he also helped his friend with an irrigation system in the yard.R stated that he provided the work to his friend for free but asked the city if he needed a permit.R stated that the city advised him that he needed a city business license, so he purchased the license just so he could do the work for his friend. R stated that he is a mechanic and part owner of a transmission shop and that, except for helping the friend with this one project, he is not a contractor and does not want to be a contractor.Based on Rís representations to the investigator, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-209C, a city clerk, alleged that R had obtained a business license from the city as a painting contractor but was not registered with the Board.R informed the investigator that he did purchase the business license from the city but ran out of funds and was not able to afford insurance and the registration fee.R stated that he should have looked into the costs of having his own business before obtaining the city business license, that he was never hired as a painter after he purchased the business license, and that he now works as an employee for another painter. The investigation did not reveal any evidence that R performed any contracting without registration; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-258C alleged R was unethical and unprofessional because R charged a late fee of $2.85 on Cís bill after R performed landscaping work.C informed the investigator that R took advantage of C because C is a senior citizen on a fixed income.R informed the investigator that C did not contact R until two months after the work had been completed, after Cís account incurred the finance charge.R stated that the companyís customer service representative met with C and walked through the bill with C to verify that the work had been completed, and C agreed to pay the finance charge.R stated that the company frequently reverses finance charges when an issue is raised in a timely manner, but C failed to provide any feedback in a timely manner.The investigation did not reveal any evidence to support the allegation that R was unethical or unprofessional; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-260C alleged R was not registered at the time R provided contracting work for C.R informed the investigator that at the time he performed the work, he was in the process of ending his partnership with his brother, and he made a mistake by giving C the name of the new business, but he was at all times registered and carried insurance.A review of the invoices provided by C and IBOL records show that R was registered at the time the work was done; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-263C alleged R practiced contracting without registration.Investigation revealed that R only manufactures cabinets and does not install cabinets.(In fact, because of Rís physical disabilities, R is physically unable to install cabinets.)Because R is exempt from the registration requirement, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-273 and I-CON-2010-274C alleged Rs failed to pay for supplies.When contacted by the investigator, C stated that payment was made since the filing of the complaints and requested that the complaints be dismissed.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-284C alleged R failed to properly install windows.Investigation revealed that C and R entered into a contract to replace windows in 8/09.After installation, C informed R that she was not satisfied with the installation, so R reordered and installed new windows.During the second installation, the installer noted that a balance spring was not operating correctly on one of the units, so the company replaced all balance springs in every new window in Rís home.After the second installation, C claimed that the single-hung windows moved side to side too much when she physically moved them side to side.R stated that they determined through verification with measurements that the product was manufactured and installed per industry standards that allow the sash to open up and down to allow for ventilation.R stated that during the measurement verification meeting, C used profanity with the service tech and followed him out to his vehicle while yelling at him.The project coordinator also disconnected phone calls with C due to Cís ďtone and profane language.ĒR stated that it first offered to have the windows tested by a third party to verify and validate performance and if the windows failed the test R would replace and install new products at no charge, but C refused the offer.R then offered to refund C 100% of the contract upon return of the undamaged product, but C has not responded to Rís numerous requests.C also filed complaints with the BBB and the Dept. of Commerce in Rís home state, and those complaints were closed.R stated that it strives to satisfy every customer and has made continual and repeated attempts to satisfy C.It appears that R has attempted to address Cís concerns; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-289C alleged R used unfair business practices by submitting low bids and then filing bankruptcy.Bureau records show that Rís registration expired in January 2010 and R company was administratively dissolved in May 2010.C informed the investigator that she has no facts to support her allegation but felt that R had undercut bids causing other businesses to fail because of low bids. The investigator was unable to locate anyone associated with R company.The investigation did not reveal any evidence to support the allegation; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2010-309C, a registered contractor, alleged R advertised on Craigs List to do concrete work without being registered and also included a fictitious registration number in the ad.The investigator called the number in the ad and spoke with someone in Salt Lake who stated that he was registered in Idaho and would come into the IBOL offices the next week.The next time the investigator called the number, a different individual answered and refused to give any contact information for the first individual.The investigator was unsuccessful in numerous attempts to contact the first individual either by phone or by mail.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-2C, a city building department official, alleged a homeowner pulled a permit for a patio cover and listed R as the contractor, but Rís registration was expired.Investigation revealed that the same day the homeowner submitted the application for the permit to the city, R submitted his renewal to IBOL.IBOL was unable to renew Rís registration because R failed to include insurance documentation.With the registration still expired, R hired a registered contractor to do the installation for the homeowner.R later provided insurance documentation and Rís registration was reinstated.The investigation revealed that a registered contractor performed the work; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-11C alleged R has failed to provide warranty information and repair mistakes made during construction of a deck and installation of a patio cover.Investigation revealed that R has worked with C on multiple occasions and provided over $1700 in additional materials/labor that were not charged to C to make C happy, and C informed the investigator that there are no issues with the workmanship. C does claim, however, that R continues to refuse to provide warranty information.R informed the investigator that Rís office has sent the warranty information to C on at least two occasions.(In fact, C provided the investigator with a warranty card.)R stated that C must sign and return the warranty card for the patio cover and register for the decking warranty, but has refused to do so.R stated that they cannot register the warranties for C.(C claims that because there was some touch-up work done after the initial project was finished, the completion date on the warranty information is wrong, and refuses to sign the card.)It appears that R has done everything possible to satisfy C, and no evidence was presented to support an allegation that R has violated the Boardís laws.Therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-48C alleged R built Cís home in 2006 and failed to install tile in the shower properly, allowing a slow leak that was not discovered until 2010.During the course of the investigation, C failed to respond to the investigatorís attempts to obtain documents and pictures.In addition, R corporation was administratively dissolved in April 2010, and the investigator was unable to locate any former officers of the corporation.IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-92C alleged that R failed to pay C for services provided by C.Two weeks after filing the complaint, C stated that he and R came to an agreement on the amount owed to C and R has paid C to Cís satisfaction.C stated that he would like to withdraw his complaint; therefore, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.

 

I-CON-2011-98At the last Board meeting, R requested that the hearing on his application be cancelled and stated that he did not wish to pursue registration.However, Rís e-mail address and signature block on his e-mail indicated that he was holding himself out a contractor.In response to a letter from IBOL, R stated that after he chose not to pursue registration he stopped using the language that may indicate he is a contractor.R stated that he was not aware of the statute prohibiting him from holding himself out as a contractor without registration and he never professionally marketed himself to the public.Based on Rís response, IBOL recommends that the Board authorize closure.