TAMPA - For $6,600, Len and Janet Sixt say they got a problem-riddled heating and air conditioning system.
Janet says cold winter nights were tough. "We went for four weeks, through the coldest part of January where we could not get the temperature inside the house above 68 degrees."
Len went online and discovered A Able Air Conditioning failed to pull a permit for the job, which means county inspectors never checked out the system.
"It protects the homeowner through the inspection process." Hillsborough County Building Official Wayne Francis is familiar with the Sixt's case. "A $500 citation was issued to the contractor to pull the permit in 30 days."
In the last six months, the county hit A Able Air Conditioning with a 2nd $500 fine related to the Sixt's install -- fines the company paid.
"I don't understand it. It makes absolutely no sense." What Len can't understand is the permit would have only cost the company $77.
After hearing Len's story I contacted the manager of A Able Air Conditioning. Hours later the company applied for a permit . Len was pleasantly surprised. "That day we got a permit, I was like okay. I felt a huge sense of relief when I saw the permit pull up on the county's website."
In an email, the manager explained. "The hold-up was due to missing paperwork with the county. I had to walk in personally to resolve the matter."
The company has since returned to make repairs and the unit is awaiting a county inspection.
Meanwhile, if you want to check on whether a permit has been pulled on your job here are a few links.
Hillsborough County - http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/buildingplans/buildingpermits/
Pinellas County - http://www.pinellascounty.org/build/permitting.htm