Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Office
Dishonest people can be everywhere and every day they come up with new ways to deceive unsuspecting victims, especially those who they know can be easily taken advantage of. Home improvement fraud by fake or unlicensed contractors is rampant in small communities and they usually target elderly residents. More often than not, the services they provide are crappy which can compromise the safety of the occupants.
Moreover, for the kind of “rush” work that they do, they tend to overcharge. And by the time you find out what a poor job they made on your home, they would have already moved on to another area. Homeowners should be more vigilant of these frauds so we interviewed one of the most reputable and established roofing contractors in Washington DC, Maggio Roofing and asked them about unlicensed contractors and how :
Q: What are unlicensed contractors?
A: These are individuals who do not have the legal right to provide any work like repairs or installations to a structure. Before you can give any of these services, you should be certified by an entity because that what proves that you have capable and have undergone proper training.
An article from nbcwashington.com shares that:
Law enforcement from Maryland and Virginia are teaming up to share information about unlicensed contractors, who are defrauding homeowners around the D.C. metro area.
Unlicensed contractors typically victimize consumers by going door-to-door soliciting payment in exchange for tree trimming or home repairs
Q: What are the obvious signs that a contractor is unlicensed?
A: There are several factors that will tell you if a contractor is legitimate or not. The first thing is when they show up at your doorstep and seem eager to offer their services. Another one is when they have vehicles with out of state plate numbers or their business doesn’t have a name. And most important is they overcharge! A reputable company will never trick a homeowner into believing that damage is worse than it actually is.
From the same article, nbcwashington.com discussed that:
State law prohibits home improvement contractors from collecting more than one-third of the contract amount as a deposit. If the contract is signed in your home, the contract must allow the consumer three days in which to cancel. Under emergency situations only, the consumer may waive this three-day right to cancel, but must sign a special form to do so.
Q: As homeowners, what should we do to avoid this situation?
A: The best way to make sure if the contractor you are hiring is legitimate or not is to ask about them at Better Business Bureau and find out if they have had any complaints against them. It is also a good thing to know your reputable local contractors like us at Maggio Roofing, that way whenever you need services like roof repair in Washington DC, you need only call us and we got you covered. Our company is a member of Certified Contractors Network, National Association of the Remodeling Industry and National Roofing Contractors Association so you can be assured that we are licensed and certified.
(Article Excerpt from Unlicensed Contractors, NB Washington, June 6, 2014)