Homeowners cautioned against scams
Southeast Texas Emergency Management urges residents who have sustained damage to their homes or property during Hurricane Ike to beware of potential scams. The Better Business Bureau, at www.bbb.org, provides much needed information which can help citizens recognize phony contractors. The following information is provided by the BBB:
“Homeowner should be suspicious of door-to-door workers, who in order to get the job, may use scare tactics such as allegedly unsafe structural conditions. If possible, homeowners should request two or three estimates of the cost of repairs. The homeowners should also be certain that the contractors are bidding the same package including materials to be used, when work is to begin and be completed and when payments are to be made.
A down payment of 30% of the total is standard for the industry. The time when work is to begin is particularly important as many contractors may have a backlog of work due to the disaster. Homeowners should not sign a completion form until they are totally satisfied. It is wise for homeowners to ask for a lien waiver to protect them in the event the contractor fails to pay their suppliers. When selecting a contractor, the homeowner should make sure the contract contains a detailed description of the necessary work.”
In the Cities of Beaumont, Groves and Pt. Arthur, contractors are required to be licensed by the State of Texas and bonded in order to perform work. Check to make sure that the contractor you have chosen meets these requirements. Citizens in all other jurisdictions should check with their local governments for verifications of requirements.
Citizens are cautioned to be weary of door to door solicitors.