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How to Verify a Professional's License in Sandy Springs?
When planning a project in Sandy Springs, it is advised that you hire only licensed professionals, as this increases your chances of a satisfactory outcome. The licensing and regulation of Sandy Springs Professionals are handled at the state level by over 40 licensing Boards. These Boards operate independently and regulate different professions. For example, the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board licenses plumbers, while the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors licenses residential and general contractors. To ensure the adequate regulation of professionals across Sandy Springs, these licensing Boards are administratively supported by the Professional Licensing Boards Division (PLBD) of the Georgia Secretary of State's Office. Accordingly, the PLBD maintains an online license verification portal that residents of Sandy Springs can utilize to verify a professional's license. For assistance with utilizing this portal or inquiries on professional license verification, residents can contact the PLBD at (404) 424-9966.
Besides ensuring you engage licensed professionals, it is also recommended that you satisfy local requirements relevant to your project. For example, contractors are required to obtain the applicable permit from the Sandy Springs Office of Building and Construction (OBC) before engaging in building-related activities in the city. Applications for permits can be submitted through the city's Customer Self Service Portal, and permit-related queries can be directed to the OBC at (770) 730-5600.
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Sandy Springs is partitioned into six wards, and each ward comprises multiple neighborhoods across the city. Each ward has an elected representative, and all six representatives, along with the City Mayor, constitute the Sandy Springs City Council. The City Council is responsible for the local governance of the city, the supervision of neighborhood affairs, and the improvement of residents' living conditions. To this end, the City Council works together with other city departments and offices to create developmental policies, draft and approve city budgets, and address critical issues.
Despite being the city's local government, the City Council does not issue construction-related permits. However, it oversees construction matters that affect the city, including infrastructural development, public construction, and land allocation. For example, in September 2021, the City Council approved a new fire station at Mount Vernon Road. The construction of a new station aims to expand the available facilities of firefighters within the city and reduce response time. Also, the City Council has deliberated on how to use the Abernathy Arts Center gifted to the city by the Fulton County government, and has organized public comment sessions to assist with this deliberation, with suggestions from the sessions being considered for implementation.
Unfair business complaints from Sandy Springs are handled by the Georgia Consumer Protection Division (CPD). Residents who want to submit an unfair business complaint to this Division can do so by filling and submitting an online complaint form. Residents who do not want to submit their complaints online can contact this Division at (404) 651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123 for inquiries or assistance regarding other submission processes. If the complaint involves alleged criminal conduct by a business or professional, residents can contact the Sandy Springs Police Department at (770) 551-6900 for inquiries on whether they can file a crime report.
Before submitting an unfair business complaint, residents are advised to attempt resolving the complaint with the relevant business or professional. Complaints received by the CPD are typically reviewed and may be referred to a more appropriate agency for investigation. If warranted, the CPD may commence legal proceedings against the business or professional in your complaint. However, such legal proceedings are usually in the public's interest, and there is no guarantee that you will get personal redress. If you are interested in personal redress, you can claim damages against the relevant business or professional by initiating a small claims case in court. Small claims cases are typically initiated at the Fulton County Magistrate Court, and the maximum amount you can claim is $15,000. Finally, it is recommended that you consult an attorney for legal advice before heading to court.