What Seniors Should Know
Before Hiring a Contractor
Although we want to believe everyone doing business as a contractor is honest, unfortunately, seniors are a target for unscrupulous contractor scams.
A solicitor offers to do work at a reduced price and asks for payment in advance. Unfortunately, once payment is made, little or no work is done and the project is abandoned.
High Pressure Sales
Be aware if a contractor pushes for an immediate decision to have work done. Remember, you will want to check their license, secure 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 the Contract
Get your contract in writing and don’t sign anything until you understand the terms. Ask a friend or relative to review the contract before you sign it. Include in your contract: a specific description of work to be done, materials to be used, total cost of the project, and start and completion dates.
REMEMBER: Anyone performing home improvement work valued at $500 or more must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board.
For More Information, please visit www.cslb.gov