Unlicensed contractor arrested in St. Pete

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 21:48:28-05

Gerri Goldman came home to a shocking surprise.

“I opened up the door, and water comes streaming out of the apartment. Water was so high, it was ankle deep,” she said.

The freak flood happened in July of 2014 after investigators said Michael Evans replaced a water heater in the apartment above her St. Petersburg home.

He claimed to have proper credentials, but experts said he wasn’t licensed and didn’t use the right pipes for the hook up.

What really scared Gerri was her dogs were alone in the apartment as the water came in.

Before it was stopped, the massive leak rained down on Goldman’s apartment -- doing about $50,000 in damage.

“The kitchen was destroyed because all my cabinets were warped. I had holes in the ceiling in the living room and the hallway,” she said.

Goldman was forced to live in a hotel for six months until repairs, which were covered by her insurance, were done.

Experts said there are many on-line resources available to make sure your contractor is licensed or if there have been complaints against them. 

That includes the Pinellas County Consumer Protection department.

“Whether it’s doing your roof, for a plumbing job, electrical, or even something like painting... Those are things that do require a license, so you need to check,” said Pinelas County senior investigator Jason Ohman.

Goldman is glad to see the man who caused the mess in jail. She just wishes her neighbor would have never hired him.

“Do your homework before you have any type of repair,” she said.

Click here for another website to help you make sure your contractor is licensed.