Spring brings enhance in dwelling renovation scams

After a protracted and snowy winter, and as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, dwelling enchancment tasks will probably be plentiful in our area. It ought to come as no shock, then, that that is additionally the time of yr when itinerant entrepreneurs begin to tour within the hopes of doing enterprise.

They will let you know issues like “We’re doing a job in your neighborhood / in your avenue” or “We’ve got extra materials”, or make you a “nice supply” to do the job as we speak.

Sadly, many entrepreneurs who do door-to-door enterprise are most likely not respectable. Many should not registered as Residence Enchancment Contractors (HICs) as required by Pennsylvania legislation.

To register as a HIC, there are a couple of, however fundamental necessities. The corporate should present a bodily handle (not a publish workplace field), a landline quantity and supply proof of sufficient insurance coverage protection. You possibly can seek for an entrepreneur’s itemizing at hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov or by calling the Lawyer Basic at 717-772-2425.

Yearly round this time we see a rise in complaints from customers who paid for the job to be executed and both the corporate didn’t come again to finish the job or the job was poor. And since the entrepreneur was not registered and didn’t present the right contact particulars, the patron “holds the bag”.

Please concentrate on this sort of entrepreneur. When you have any work or repairs to do inside or exterior your private home or garden, please ensure that:

  • The corporate has and shares with you its dwelling renovation contractor quantity (HIC).
  • Ask them for the bodily handle and telephone variety of their enterprise.
  • Ask for a written estimate and make sure that the estimate or contract accommodates an in depth description of the work to be carried out, the supplies for use, in addition to a begin date and a completion date. As well as, if a assure is obtainable, it should even be in writing.
  • Concentrate on crimson flags, together with excessive strain gross sales and time strain techniques, providing a reduction as a result of they’ve “left some work executed materials in your neighbors’ home.”
  • Do not forget that any contract signed with you offers you a proper of cancellation for 3 days. This assertion should be in writing, on the contract, to be respectable, as required by a house enchancment contract underneath the Residence Enchancment Client Safety Act.
  • Name Bucks County Client Safety to seek out out if there are any complaints in our database in opposition to the contractor you might be contemplating. It is usually really helpful that you just do a analysis on the corporate’s internet, earlier than signing a contract, to view on-line opinions from different customers’ experiences with the corporate.
  • When you have chosen a contractor, he can request a 3rd get together deposit prematurely. It’s not really helpful and there’s no motive to pay in full till the work is accomplished to your satisfaction. As soon as the bill is paid in full, there is no such thing as a incentive for the corporate to come back again and full the work.
  • Different crimson flags to be careful for: The corporate title on the automobile is totally different from the title of the corporate you employed (observe the license plate quantity), the license plate is “out of the field”. state”.
  • Ask for a enterprise card.

For extra info and recommendation on hiring a house enchancment contractor, please go to the Bucks County Client Safety web site, BucksCounty.org/ConsumerProtection, go to “Ideas for Customers” and click on on the “Rent a Residence Renovation Contractor” booklet.

Fraud Alerts are dropped at you by the Bucks County Aged Crimes Process Pressure: Bucks County Lawyer’s Workplace, A Girl’s Place, Bucks County Growing older Company, Workplace of the Safety of Bucks County Customers, Bucks County Coroner’s Workplace, Bucks Wills County Registry, Community of Sufferer Help, and US Division of Well being and Human Companies / OIG. Go to www.buckscounty.org/CrimesAgainstOlderAdults or name 1-800-490-8505, or name the Bucks County Client Safety Division at 800-942-2669 for common questions.

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