Recent ice storms bring unwanted home repair scammers
- Regina Morrison Newman is the Shelby County Trustee.
Provided the harm still left behind by the ice storm that hit Shelby County before this thirty day period, this subject matter is specifically timely.
So a lot of individuals are working with injury to their houses from the ice storm – trees falling on their households, frozen pipes bursting and producing drinking water destruction, even fires prompted by electric power surges as MLGW acquired power turned back on. Based on the amount of money and variety of harm, folks are desperate to get it repaired. Enter the unscrupulous “home repair” people.
Lots of situations we get to out to buddies and family for tips. Most of the reputable people are booked for weeks if not months, specifically right after a weather occasion like we experienced. Sadly, that leaves the fly-by-night home mend scammers driving neighborhoods searching for houses with destruction and offering their products and services. They promise to be out there quickly and to do the perform for significantly less cash than the ones you would have to wait weeks for. Really do not be fooled.
Some will ask for money up entrance for “supplies” and disappear. They may perhaps give you a handwritten “contract” with dubious language that is open up to interpretation about the quantity really owed. Our seniors appear to be preferred targets of these people.
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In accordance to the Much better Business Bureau, in 2021, 22 “dwelling enhancement” cons had been noted to our fraud-tracker by Shelby County consumers for a decline of $74,317.56. All of these losses were documented by seniors. Most of these have been storm chasers, or fly-by-evening “contractors” who took cash and never returned.
A ton of reports were being submitted on genuine contractors, as well. Roofers, plumbers, contractors, and so forth., who have F rankings with the BBB. Try to remember that the cheapest cost doesn’t always mean the do the job will be accomplished correctly, if at all.
In advance of engaging any one to make repairs to your residence, check them out. The adhering to solutions compiled by the Improved Business Bureau are a fantastic way to minimize the chance for fraud.
Know your community and state prerequisites for licensing of contractors. Demands differ from point out to state and, in some conditions, metropolis to town or county to county. You need to get hold of your community allow office environment or neighborhood setting up formal regarding local needs. Really don’t be reluctant to talk to for a duplicate of the demanded license.
- In Tennessee:
- Work about $25,000 require a valid TN Standard Contractor’s license.
- Contractors carrying out perform in between $3000 and $24,999 in nine Tennessee counties must maintain a valid TN Home Advancement license. Shelby and Haywood are the only two counties in West Tennessee that call for this license.
- Careers below $3000 do not need a point out license in Tennessee.
- Be cautious of doorway-to-doorway employees who clearly show up unsolicited supplying to make repairs. This incorporates companies presenting to remove fallen trees and branches, which could induce further damage if not thoroughly taken off. Just because someone has a chainsaw does not imply they know how to correctly remove a fallen tree.
- Check with your insurance business about policy protection and distinct filing prerequisites. Hold copies of receipts for unexpected emergency repairs for reimbursement afterwards.
- Take time to store all over for reputable contractors. Get at least 3 estimates and look at out contractors with BBB.
- Ask the BBB for a listing of respected BBB Accredited Enterprises to pick out from like roofers, tree elimination firms, fence corporations and other property fix corporations.
- Get anything in crafting. The penned agreement must outline the do the job to be done, the materials to be made use of, and the selling price breakdown for the two labor and resources. Assessment it very carefully just before signing. Obscure clauses these types of as “repair roof” are invitations for abuse.
- In no way shell out the whole total of repairs in progress. The BBB endorses that you shell out no more than 30% up entrance. Shell out with a credit card if attainable, which offers you extra safety if the do the job is not concluded as specified.
Not only do we want to assist you and especially our seniors stay away from scammers, we also want to make certain our seasoned citizens can take edge of all the authorities products and services and programs available to them in Shelby County. As aspect of our Shelby County Cares initiative, the Trustee’s Business office together with County Mayor Harris and many other Shelby County businesses have compiled a booklet of products and services provided to seniors that will be mailed out this thirty day period.
If you really do not receive a single by the finish of March, please phone (901) 222-0206 to ask for a single.
Regina Morrison Newman is the Shelby County Trustee.