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How to Verify a Professional's License in San Jose?

Professionals in San Jose are typically required to obtain an occupational license from the California Department of Consumer Affairs before plying their trade in the city. This agency licenses more than 3.6 million professionals through its 39 boards and bureaus, and it is your responsibility to make sure that any professional you hire in the city has obtained the relevant license required for the job. You can find out the licensing status of professionals in San Jose through the Department of Consumer Affairs' online license search portal.

After verifying the professional's licensing status, you should also ensure that this professional meets any other additional city requirements for the type of job that you need to carry out. For example, it is illegal to perform certain types of building construction and improvement work, such as altering the structural, electrical, mechanical, or plumbing configurations of a home, without a permit. Building, construction, and home improvement-related permits in San Jose can be obtained through the Development Services Permit Center of the city's Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Department. It is also advisable to contact your neighborhood association for any relevant information regarding your project that may be specific to your area of residence.

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Do San Jose Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

San Jose consists of ten council districts, each of which has an elected council member that represents it on the San Jose City Council. Each district also nominates two residents to serve on the city's Neighborhood Commission, which is responsible for advising the city council on matters that affect the quality of life in San Jose neighborhoods. In addition, some districts also have neighborhood and community associations that are made up of community members working together to bring positive changes and improvements to their neighborhoods. However, these neighborhood and community associations are not authorized to issue building and construction-related permits, and their functions are typically limited to matters like neighborhood safety, social activities, and neighborhood beautification. For example, several San Jose neighborhood associations, including the Willow Glen, Santa Teresa Foothills, Thousand Oaks, Rose Garden, and Winchester Orchard Neighborhood Associations, have all formed a coalition to oppose the city's ˜Opportunity Housing Initiative'. Likewise, in May 2021, the city council unanimously voted to approve tech giant Google's Downtown West project. This approval was reached as a result of several meetings between Google representatives, local neighborhood associations, and other interested parties, with members of the Diridon Area Neighborhood Group praising both the project and the number of meetings held between the company and relevant stakeholders before the vote was taken.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in San Jose?

Complaints concerning consumer transactions and unfair business practices in San Jose are handled by the Consumer Protection Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. You can file a complaint with this unit online, by calling (408) 792-2880 to have a complaint form sent to you, or by printing, completing, and submitting a consumer complaint form to:

  • Santa Clara County
  • Office of the District Attorney
  • Mediation Services, Consumer Protection Unit
  • 70 West Hedding Street
  • San Jose, CA 95110

Complaints are typically initially assigned to the Mediation Services Division of this office for mediation. However, the mediation process is voluntary and the business or professional that the complaint has been filed against cannot be forced to participate in it. During the mediation, the mediator attempts to help all parties involved in the matter reach an acceptable agreement. The mediation process is considered concluded if a suitable agreement is reached, if one party decides to stop participating in the process, or if both parties cannot reach an agreement. If any of these happens, the matter may be referred to the Consumer Protection Unit's Enforcement Division for possible prosecution. Note that these prosecutions are carried out on behalf of the general public and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office does not represent individuals. If you would like to take private legal action or file a monetary claim against a San Jose professional or business, you should consider retaining the services of a lawyer. Claims that involve $10,000 or less are typically filed in the Small Claims Division of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.