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December 15, 2018   
Arizona Contractors Face Strict Enforcement  March 14, 2006

For contractors to succeed in Arizona’s booming building industry, they must have qualified subcontractors, including Landscape Contractors, to take on part of the work.

But where to find them? Every month, the state Registrar of Contractors receives an average of 1,800 applications to be a contractor. Every month, only about 800 of those applications get granted. That’s a 56 percent rejection rate.

More than half of the people applying for a contractor’s license or expand their license are being rejected for reasons ranging from improper paperwork to not having the qualifications for the license.

So how do you find reliable and skilled subcontractors?

“Check the permits,” said Israel Torres, director of the state Registrar of contractors. “When we do investigations, that’s one of the things that we find. Contractors using unlicensed subcontractors. They may be licensed for one thing, but not everything.”

Last year, Torres’ office nailed 2,200 unlicensed contractors. Some were fined. Others faced criminal charges.

“Always be aware,” Torres said, “that if you’re going to use an unqualified contractor that there are two consequences: One, you’re ultimately responsible for their work. And two, you’re aiding and abetting an unlicensed contractor.”

In addition to an overall labor shortage because of the state’s construction boom, there’s another factor affecting how contractors hire subcontractors. It also can affect the way general contractors work.

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