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How to Verify a Professional's License in Chesapeake?

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, through its various regulatory boards, offers 48 occupational license types to qualified professionals in Chesapeake. If a license is a prerequisite for a professional to provide services to interested parties, you must confirm the validity and status of this license to ensure that it complies with all relevant board regulations. For instance, you must make sure that building professionals, such as contractors, bidding for a job valued at $120,000 or more possess the statutorily required Class A license. Hiring a licensed professional not only indicates that the professional has met the minimum licensing requirement but also ensures that you are not committing any prohibited acts under relevant licensing laws. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation maintains a License Lookup tool you can use to verify Chesapeake professionals licenses.

In addition to confirming the validity and status of a professional license, you also have to ensure all necessary city regulatory requirements are met. This means you have to take steps to obtain the required permits for your project before you commence work. For example, Chesapeake issues building permits for residential and commercial construction-related projects through the Building Permits and Inspections Office of the Department of Development and Permits. Note that commencing these projects without permits may result in penalties, like paying a fine. Contact the Building Permits and Inspections Office for more information on Chesapeake permit requirements at (757) 382-6018. It is also advisable to contact your neighborhood association for other relevant permit information specific to your neighborhood.

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Do Chesapeake Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

Neighborhoods in Chesapeake are generally made up of several associations that improve the community. There are currently 111 active civic leagues and homeowner associations representing the interest of their respective neighborhoods. You can get information on active leagues and associations in your neighborhood, including meeting dates and locations, via the city's Civic Leagues and Homeowner Associations Directory. These Chesapeake civic leagues and homeowners associations do not issue building or construction permits, however, they identify community needs and communicate recommendations to City Council to improve life quality. For instance, in conjunction with other agencies, the South Norfolk Civic League transformed the Kinder Morgan Elizabeth River Terminal to a functioning living shoreline, which has helped reduce floods in the area. Likewise, the Cedarwood Civic League is recommending via a petition that the city zone the lots of 809 and 817 Bells Mill Road to one or two dwelling units per parcel to reduce overcrowding and flooding of other properties within the lots.

How Do You File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Chesapeake?

The Consumer Protection Division of the Virginia Attorney General's office handles and prosecutes unfair business complaints against professionals in Chesapeake. You can file a complaint with this office by completing its Online Complaint Form. For further inquiries, contact this office at (800) 552-9963. You can also file complaints that allege criminal misconduct on the part of a professional by reporting to the Chesapeake Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Chesapeake Sheriff's Office, or the Chesapeake Police Department. These agencies typically investigate these types of complaints to determine if there is a probable cause for criminal prosecution.

You can also institute a private legal action to seek restitution by filing a civil action in a Chesapeake Court. The Chesapeake General District Court has jurisdiction to entertain civil action where your claim does not exceed $25,000, and where your claim is $5000 or less, you have to file in a Small Claims Court. Proceedings in the Small Claims Courts are less formal, and as a litigant, you have the right to proceed pro se (without legal representation). Notwithstanding, you can contact the Chesapeake Bar Association at (757) 627-5423 to get a legal aid consultation on how to proceed with your small claims action.