How to Verify a Professional's License in Charleston?
The South Carolina Department of Labour, Licensing and Regulation oversees, licenses, and regulates the affairs of professionals in Charleston, and the State of South Carolina as a whole, through 41 different boards. If you are in Charleston and want to embark on a project, making sure that the professional you hire is duly licensed by the department is a good way to ensure good standards. You can find out if your intended professional is licensed through the License Lookup portal maintained by the department for this purpose.
Asides from ensuring that the professional you hire is licensed, you should also make sure that all other legal requirements and prerequisites are also satisfied before embarking on your chosen project. For example, if you are carrying out a building or construction-related project, the City of Charleston requires that you obtain a building permit from the Charleston Permit Center. To find out what permits you require or make an application for a permit, you can send an email to the center or access the Charleston Customer Self Service portal online. You may also contact the center at (843) 577-5550.
Do Charleston Neighborhood Councils
Charleston neighborhood associations do not have the authority to issue permits to residents or any other parties within the city. These organizations work together with the city, and particularly the Charleston Neighborhood Services Division, to ensure that concerns of residents in each neighborhood are heard by the government and beneficial programs and services are created to help improve the lives of those living within the neighborhood and the entire city as a whole. In collaboration with city officials and other residents, these associations make contributions and suggestions to the city council on housing, zoning, and other neighborhood needs. On May 24th, 2021, the city's real estate committee approved a proposal to spend over $1.4 million on approximately 1.5 acres of land to build affordable housing units on Cunnington Avenue. Following the committee's approval, the proposal will now proceed to the main city council for consideration and final approval. In 2020, after much debate, the Charleston City Council finally approved the Freeboard Rule', which requires that homeowners in flood-prone areas build their homes at least 2 feet above the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards, while previous homeowners who have suffered substantial damage due to flood rebuild to at least 1 foot above FEMA standards.
How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Charleston?
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is the agency responsible for mediating and trying to find amicable solutions between businesses and aggrieved consumers in Charleston. You can file complaints with the agency against businesses that have been involved in fraud and other deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint with the Department, you could access the DCA's online complaint portal. Alternatively, you can file a complaint by downloading and completing a paper complaint form, which is to be sent to the department, along with any supporting documents, at
- PO Box 5757
- 293 Greystone Boulevard
- Suite 400
- Columbia SC 29250-5757
After contacting the DCA, your complaint, and any additional documents you may have sent, will be forwarded to the business complained of within 2 business days for a response. This response is to be received within 20 days of the transmission of the complaint. If it is decided that your complaint falls under the jurisdiction of another agency or will be better handled by that agency, the DCA will refer it to the appropriate agency. Note that the DCA only acts as a mediator between you and the business, and they cannot compel the business to respond to a complaint or to provide a response or resolution to the complaint which you would deem satisfactory. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the complaint process, you can proceed to a Charleston County Magistrate Court to file a lawsuit against the business. However, note that this court can only handle complaints that have a value of $7,500 or less. It is advisable to contact a qualified attorney near you to get legal advice before pursuing any type of court action.