FOR RELEASE: August 29, 2011CONTACT: Mary Broz VaughanDirector of Communications, Legislation & Consumer Education(804) 367-9142 or Mary.Broz-Vaughan@dpor.virginia.gov
Richmond – The need for repairs following flooding and high winds can make consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous contractors and repairmen who may exploit the situation. In response to recent property damage from Hurricane Irene, the Virginia Board for Contractors cautions the public to be wary of unlicensed contractors and home repair scam artists after the storm.
“After severe weather, homeowners trying to make repairs can be vulnerable to con artists,” warns agency spokesperson Mary Broz-Vaughan. “Consumers can best protect themselves by checking for a valid contractor’s license, insisting on a detailed written contract, and never paying in full up front.”
Virginia law requires a state license – not just a local business license – for most contracting work or bids over $1,000. Consumers have very little recourse against unlicensed contractors. The Board for Contractors offers a free consumer guide, What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor, available for download at www.dpor.virginia.gov.
Before hiring a contractor, consumers should observe the following “Top Ten Tips:”
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.