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Protect Yourself From Unscrupulous Contractors

I received another call today from a Minot flood survivor who was unhappy with the work a contractor had done cleaning her flooded home. I asked if she had paid all the money agreed on, she had not but also said all the work had not been done. I asked if she had a written contract stating what work was to be done, she said no. I asked if the contractor had a North Dakota contractor’s license, she said she didn’t ask for it and he didn’t offer that information. Hmmm . . .this doesn’t sound good!

Unfortunately disasters attract con-artists from across the country. It’s hard to imagine those who have gone through the disaster being taken advantage of but it is happening again and again. This is a time for homeowners beware. Here are some suggestions to protect yourself:

  • Ask to see their ND Contractor’s license, you can find a list of current licensed contractors at http://ag.nd.gov/Flood/documents/LicensedContractors.pdf
  • Never let anyone begin working on your home or business without first establishing a written contract. Don't let anyone rush you into a deal.
  • A good contract should include the contractor's name, business name, phone number and address. You can verify this information with the Attorney General's Office (http://www.ag.nd.gov/) if things don't seem to be adding up right.
  • The contract should include a thorough description of the work to be completed, grade and quality of materials to be used, agreed-upon starting and completion dates, total cost, payment schedule, warranty limits and the contractor's signature.
  • Make your first payment after the contract is established, and make your final payment when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

 

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