TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Kathy Watson’s quest for a little private space in the backyard turned into an expensive nightmare.
Watson hired a contractor who responded to her post on the popular app Nextdoor looking for a licensed contractor to build a “she shed.” She hired Brent Irving, of Irving Home Improvements to modify an existing shed and add electrical.
“I checked his references,” Watson said. “They were good, and then I checked some of the photos online that he showed online saying it was his, and then we hired him.”
What she said she didn’t check was his license or whether he pulled a permit with the city of Dunedin.
She says work was slow and shoddy and then she realized he wasn’t licensed and the permit was never pulled, as required by law for such a project. A contractor must also be licensed for this type of shed.
Better Call Behnken obtained the case report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It showed investigators found probable cause of unlicensed contracting, including electrical work.
It indicates the case was referred to the state attorney’s office for prosecution on April 1. That hasn’t happened yet and Watson said she still sees the contractor advertising his services online.
Irving has not responded to requests for comment. Behnken stopped by his house but was told he wasn’t there.
Meanwhile, Watson sued in small claims court and won a $4,864 judgement, but she hasn’t seen a penny of that, she said.
A spokesman for the state attorney’s office said there are three pending charges now, and he expects those to be filed soon.