Believe it or not, some homeowners still haven’t been able to repair their houses since Hurricane Irma hit in September 2017. After severe weather, homeowners should be aware that fraudulent repair businesses come out of the woodwork, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services newsletter.
Follow these tips to avoid fraud:
- Don’t pay a large sum of money upfront—or you may never see the workers again. Most businesses give a quote for the total amount to be paid once the work is finished.
- Check each contractor’s address, license, and complaint history by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850.487.1395 or visiting myfloridalicense.com.
- Never agree to a cash-only deal. Ask for a written, itemized estimate and inspect the terms carefully before signing.
- Protect yourself from liens against your home. Make sure your contract states that the contractor will obtain notarized, written releases of lien from all subcontractors and suppliers before you will make each payment.