Wichita landscaping business to pay $26,000 for violating Consumer Protection Act
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A Wichita landscaping business and its owner have to pay around $26,000 in fines and restitution after accusations of violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
The Sedgwick County district attorney's office alleged that AJ Landscaping and Irrigation, LLC was not properly licensed to perform contracted work on a concrete retaining wall project and did not provide a protected customer with a material benefit "after the consumer was forced to hire a second contractor to correct and finish the project."
The Consumer Protection Division investigated the complaint.
AJ Landscaping and owner Anthony Davis denied intentionally violating the KCPA. Davis and his business entered into a consent judgment with the DA's office and agreed to pay over $,5,900 in restitution. The court also assessed a $20,000 civil penalty, along with additional investigative expenses, and court costs. Judge Faith Maughan approved the judgment on Tuesday.
"As part of the consent judgment, AJ Landscaping and Davis each promised to not perform or contract for work they do not have the requisite license or skill to perform as well as to cooperate with the investigation of any future complaints," the DA's office said in a release. "They also promised that all future door-to-door sales will include proper notification of the three-day right to cancel under Kansas law."
The consent judgment includes a 12-month probationary period and an injunction from engaging in deceptive or unconscionable acts in the future.
District Attorney Marc Bennett reminds residents that contractors for many residential projects are required to be qualified and licensed, in their own name, by the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department. Work including electrical, structural and plumbing may also require permits.
"Permits and inspections are important to make sure the work was performed to building code and completed in a safe manner," the release said. "Anyone engaging in door-to-door sales or offering their services outside of their place of business is also required to provide customers a specific notice both orally and in writing that informs the consumer they can cancel the contract within three days."
Violations of the KCPA that impact a protected consumer can result in an enhanced civil penalty per violation. Protected consumers include the disabled, veterans, members of the military and persons over the age of 60.