North Hempstead lawmakers are cracking down on the plumbing industry with a sweeping regulation that allows the building department to punish plumbers that share licenses. Plumbers in the area have been found to illegally share their licenses with others.
The practice allows non-licensed plumbers to “look” licensed and secure jobs that they would not otherwise be able to bid on. Plumbers that share their license often receive a kickback or some form of compensation for sharing their licenses with others.
Lawmakers in North Hempstead passed an amendment that allows the building department to revoke the licenses of plumbers that are found to share their license with others.
Council members voted on the amendment on June 5. The move was highly supported and applauded by the local plumbers’ union. Union representatives claim that the practice has been “going on forever, everywhere” claiming that they’re happy for the tide to turn.
Licensing in the area is difficult to obtain. Plumbers that are granted the ability to work with the town must receive a license from the building department. Applicants must meet a 5 year, or longer, journeyman plumber requirement, pass a hands-on exam and also pass a written exam.
The amendment also puts into power a new board of master plumbers, consisting of three members, that will be responsible for new license applications and renewals. The board will have the power to revoke licenses if a plumber is found to break any of the new laws.
Licenses can also be revoked if the plumber lends their license to another party, failure to file a permit application or if the person that’s performing the plumbing is a convicted felon. Licenses can be suspended for a period of up to one year.
The building department has been powerless to revoke plumbing licenses for years. The department claims that they have had no mechanisms or laws in place to revoke licenses and cite the DMV as an example of a department that has the right to revoke licenses.
“Our staff of professionals will be ready to address the needs of our customers at any time, and we make sure to arrive on-time in order to solve the problem with fast and precise work,” states Option One. License sharing lowers the standard of plumbing leading to residents having subpar work done on their plumbing systems.
North Hempstead grants 165 license renewals annually and approves an additional 10 new licenses annually.
Long Island has a history of license covering, too. Civil penalties of $3,000 or higher per violation are also being imposed on violators.
Lawmakers claim that the new measures will protect the residents of North Hempstead, ensuring that the residents receive quality work from a licensed plumber. The work of licensed plumbers is expected to meet the stringent requirements of the building department.