3 area homebuilders fined up to $5,000

All violated rule requiring them to register with state

December 31, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Three homebuilders in the Baltimore area have agreed to pay fines to settle violations of building codes and state registration regulations, officials in the Maryland attorney general's office said yesterday.

Timonium builder Joseph D. Fluri agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for not registering with the attorney general's Home Builder Registration Unit, authorities said. The fine settles a civil case against Fluri alleging that he falsified a landowner's certificate saying that he was building a home in Carroll County to live in, Assistant Attorney General Jeston Hamer said.

Cornerstone Home Builders, which operates as Hoffman Design-Build in Woodstock, also paid a $1,000 fine for not registering with the state, authorities said.

The attorney general's office settled a similar case with Bethel Design Construction Inc., Bethel Regency Homes, LLC and their Beltsville owner for building without registering and then fraudulently attempting to obtain registration. The company has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine, Hamer said.

In 2001, the state began requiring all homebuilders to register with the Home Builders Registration Unit before entering into contracts with customers, Hamer said.

About 3,200 builders are registered in Maryland, and nearly half will have to re-register in March, he said.

Authorities recommend that buyers of new homes check on whether their builders are registered by contacting the Home Builders Registration Unit at 410-576-6573 or visiting www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder.

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