Unfortunately, in a time of disaster, unscrupulous crooks will try to take advantage of people who desperately need to fix their homes. This is especially true of a large scale disaster that overwhelms the local resources. Contractors will come from near and far.
Don't let yourself or your neighbors get nailed by unscrupulous or unlicensed contractors.
What You Should Know About the Contract
Door-to-Door Solicitations A solicitor offers to do roofing, painting or paving work at a reduced price. Once payment is made, little or no work is done and the project is abandoned.
High Pressure Sales
An unscrupulous contractor pushes for an immediate decision about work, which makes it impossible for the homeowner to get competitive bids, check licenses or review references.
A deceitful contractor offers to perform a free inspection, then claims that faulty wiring, bad plumbing, or a leaky roof put the homeowner in peril. The alarmed homeowner agrees to unnecessary and over-priced work.
Demand for Cash
A contractor demands cash payments, sometimes going so far as to drive the victim to the bank to withdraw funds. With money in hand, the unscrupulous operator takes the money and runs.
Illegally Large Down Payments
A dishonest contractor takes more for a down payment than is allowed by law, claiming to need instant cash for supplies and to pay workers. By law, a down payment cannot exceed 10 percent of the project price or $1,000, whichever is less.
A contractor states that a written contract is unnecessary--promising to deliver on the verbal agreement. The shady operator takes advantage of the situation to perform shoddy work--or none at all.
What You Should Know About Payments
What You Should Know About the Contractors State License Board
You can do more to protect yourself before hiring a contractor than the Contractors State License Board can do to help after you've been harmed.
Get free information from the Contractors State License Board at www.cslb.ca.gov.