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How to Verify a Professional's License in Cambridge?

Boards such as the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure Boards of Registration, Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards, and the Cambridge Inspectional Services Department (ISD) provide licenses to professionals who offer services in Cambridge. Professionals practicing in Cambridge must possess a valid license issued by one of these boards, and you should confirm that this is the case before hiring any of these professionals to work on your project. You can verify the license of a Cambridge professional using the Massachusetts e-Place Licensing and Permitting Portal. You can also reach out to the ISD for queries on a professional's license at (617) 349-6100.

After establishing the validity of a professional's license, it is advised to ensure that all permits required for your project have been secured before they commence work on the project. The Cambridge Inspectional Services Department (ISD) grants permits for work such as building construction, building alteration, building repair, or demolishing. The proposed work must comply with the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance before a permit is issued. Where construction work requiring a permit is started without one, the fine will be three times the specified fee for the permit, with the possibility of extra penalties. For information on the Cambridge building permit process, you can contact the ISD at (617) 349-6100.

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Do Cambridge Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

Cambridge neighborhood groups do not issue construction and building-related permits. However, these groups and associations are established with the consent of the City Council and are open to membership by the residents of Cambridge. These groups and associations represent their various neighborhoods and promote ways to improve the welfare of the residents.

In August 2020, It was reported that the Cambridge had entered an agreement with Spaulding Hospital-Cambridge to create a 57-bed emergency homeless shelter at the east wing of its facilty located at Cambridge Street. In addition, in September 2021, it was also reported that the Community Development Department was to hold a consultation meeting with the general public, abutters, and city staff. The meeting was to discuss the demolition of old buildings at 1 Cedar Street, Cambridge, and the construction of a new mixed-use building with eight dwelling units, parking spaces, and a veterans club.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Cambridge?

The Cambridge Consumers' Council collaborates with the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General to look into complaints and resolve disputes between businesses and consumers in Cambridge. You can file complaints against improper and unfair practices by businesses by calling the Consumer's Council Information and Public Assistance hotline at (617) 349-6150. You can also file a complaint directly to the Office of the Attorney General using the Consumer Complaint web form. Alternatively, you can download and print a complaint form, fill it in, and send it by mail to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Advocacy & Response Division
  • One Ashburton Place, 18th Floor
  • Boston, MA 02108

The Consumers' Council's Information Specialists review all complaints to identify those suitable for intervention. Complaints not suitable for intervention may be referred to other government agencies for assistance. A Consumer Advocate will contact you and try to resolve the dispute between you and the business in question. Note that the Consumers' Council does not provide legal advice to consumers. If a resolution could not be reached, then you could choose to seek damages through the courts. This can be done by filing a small claims civil action at the Boston Municipal Court. You are advised to get professional legal advice from an experienced lawyer before filing your suit. You can use the Massachusetts Bar Association's online Lawyer Referral Service to find a lawyer or contact the service by calling (617) 654-0400. Note that this small claims court has limited jurisdiction over civil matters that do not exceed $7,000.