Provided the problems left behind by the ice storm that strike Shelby County previously this month, this matter is in particular well timed.
So numerous individuals are dealing with problems to their homes from the ice storm – trees slipping on their properties, frozen pipes bursting and triggering h2o hurt, even fires caused by electricity surges as MLGW obtained electricity turned again on. Dependent on the sum and type of damage, people are determined to get it fixed. Enter the unscrupulous “home repair” folks.
Quite a few situations we get to out to buddies and family members for suggestions. Most of the dependable individuals are booked for weeks if not months, specially right after a weather event like we had. Regrettably, that leaves the fly-by-night home mend scammers driving neighborhoods on the lookout for houses with injury and providing their solutions. They guarantee to be readily available right away and to do the work for significantly less cash than the ones you would have to wait months for. Really do not be fooled.
Some will request for cash up front for “supplies” and vanish. They may perhaps give you a handwritten “contract” with doubtful language that is open to interpretation about the total truly owed. Our seniors seem to be to be favorite targets of these people.
Hear extra Tennessee Voices: Get the weekly opinion publication for insightful and thought provoking columns.
According to the Greater Business Bureau, in 2021, 22 “home advancement” ripoffs were being claimed to our scam-tracker by Shelby County buyers for a decline of $74,317.56. All of these losses were being described by seniors. Most of these have been storm chasers, or fly-by-night time “contractors” who took money and never ever returned.
A great deal of experiences have been submitted on legit contractors, also. Roofers, plumbers, contractors, etc., who have F ratings with the BBB. Remember that the cheapest rate does not automatically indicate the perform will be carried out appropriately, if at all.
Before engaging any individual to make repairs to your dwelling, check out them out. The following suggestions compiled by the Greater Business Bureau are a wonderful way to lessen the prospect for fraud.
Know your regional and point out specifications for licensing of contractors. Specifications range from condition to state and, in some situations, town to city or county to county. You must get in touch with your regional permit office or area developing official with regards to area specifications. Don’t wait to talk to for a duplicate of the essential license.
Work opportunities more than $25,000 require a valid TN Common Contractor’s license.
Contractors accomplishing do the job between $3000 and $24,999 in 9 Tennessee counties must maintain a valid TN Household Advancement license. Shelby and Haywood are the only two counties in West Tennessee that require this license.
Work under $3000 do not involve a point out license in Tennessee.
Be wary of doorway-to-door employees who present up unsolicited presenting to make repairs. This incorporates companies presenting to take away fallen trees and branches, which could bring about further more problems if not correctly eradicated. Just mainly because someone has a chainsaw doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to properly get rid of a fallen tree.
Examine with your insurance coverage firm about coverage coverage and unique filing necessities. Keep copies of receipts for crisis repairs for reimbursement later on.
Choose time to store all around for reliable contractors. Get at least a few estimates and examine out contractors with BBB.
Request the BBB for a listing of reliable BBB Accredited Enterprises to decide on from such as roofers, tree removal businesses, fence firms and other home maintenance firms.
Get everything in writing. The composed arrangement should really outline the work to be carried out, the products to be employed, and the rate breakdown for the two labor and products. Overview it cautiously prior to signing. Vague clauses these types of as “repair roof” are invitations for abuse.
Under no circumstances shell out the entire total of repairs in progress. The BBB endorses that you fork out no far more than 30% up entrance. Pay with a credit rating card if feasible, which offers you far more security if the get the job done is not finished as specified.
Not only do we want to assist you and especially our seniors steer clear of scammers, we also want to make certain our seasoned citizens can acquire benefit of all the authorities companies and courses offered to them in Shelby County. As component of our Shelby County Cares initiative, the Trustee’s Office environment along with County Mayor Harris and a number of other Shelby County businesses have compiled a booklet of services made available to seniors that will be mailed out this thirty day period.
If you do not obtain one by the conclusion of March, make sure you simply call (901) 222-0206 to ask for just one.
Regina Morrison Newman is the Shelby County Trustee.
This article at first appeared on Memphis Business Attraction: New ice storms carry undesired home restore scammers