The Allegedly Unlicensed Contractors Have Placed A Lien On Richard and Robyn Berniker’s New Home.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
UPDATE: The issue was resolved in mediation, according to court records.
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A couple moving into a home in Addison Reserve allegedly hired unlicensed contractors to perform significant work on the property, then were surprised when Palm Beach County showed up and ordered the work to be stopped. One of the homeowners, Robyn Berniker, is a Realtor with ReMax. How or why a real estate professional hired allegedly unlicensed contractors is unclear.
Richard and Robyn Berniker, according to the suit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, allege that they hired Luxe Renovations, LLC, and owners James Brian Olt and Marie Antonelli, to perform significant work on their home at 16077 Villa Vizcaya Place in Addison Reserve.
From the suit: “In pursuit of certain improvements to the Property, Plaintiffs contracted Luxe and spoke to Olt, who represented himself as an officer of Luxe and a general contractor. On or about February 11, 2021 (the Bernikers) entered into a contract with Luxe to perform general construction on (their property).”
The price: $47,100. The Bernikers, according to the suit, paid $27,395 to get started.
But then… unexpectedly… “The Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning and Building Department issued a Notice of Violation relating to the property, as building permits had not been obtained by Luxe prior to commencing the work on the property.”
It’s unclear why or how the Bernikers — again, Robyn Berniker is a licensed Realtor — were led to the believe that a nearly $50,000 construction project could get underway days after signing a contract without first checking with Palm Beach County.
From the suit: “At this time, a dispute arose between Plaintiffs and Luxe regarding the quality of the work and questionable practices, including performing work without obtaining the proper permits. On March 11, 2021, Plaintiffs sent Luxe notice of termination of the Agreement, effective immediately. Luxe left the Property in unlivable conditions, and Plaintiffs were obligated to retain a licensed contractor and pay additional fees for their work, as well as the fees to obtain the permits required by the Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning and Building Department.”
But Luxe fought back.
“On or about March 19, 2021, Luxe, through its counsel, notified Plaintiffs that it has caused a Claim of Lien to be recorded in the public records of Palm Beach County, asserting the Plaintiff owed Luxe $45,503 for labor and materials it furnished at the Property.”
And then: “Plaintiffs have since discovered that Luxe does not possess a general contractor’s license. Further, neither Antonelli nor Olt are licensed as general contractors in their individual capacity.”
Read the complete lawsuit below. If it doesn’t appear, click here for full access. If you want to check whether a contractor is licensed, use this link for Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.Luxe
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