Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel reminds consumers affected by recent flooding across the state that certain types of residential and general contractors require state licensure, and warned home and business owners to be wary of potential scams.
Typical flood damage that requires a contractor to hold a state-issued license includes major structural repair, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Consumers can verify that a contractor is properly licensed or file a complaint against a licensed contractor online at http://sos.georgia.gov/plb.
Additionally, state law exempts some types of construction work from licensure. Typical flood damage that does not require a licensed contractor includes roofing, painting, sheetrock, siding, mold remediation, flooring, foundation waterproofing and septic tank repair. Septic tank repair must be conducted by a person certified by the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Consumers should know that is illegal for a home owner to obtain a building permit and use an unlicensed contractor to manage construction services. The person or business who obtains the permit could also assume the majority of liability for the project, leaving the consumer with little to no legal recourse.
When hiring someone to conduct construction work, watch out for these red flags that you may be dealing with a dishonest individual:
For additional consumer tips, please visit the Secretary of State’s Professional Licensing Boards web site at http://sos.georgia.gov.
Across the country each year, many people become victims of tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or wildfires. These natural disasters cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. One of the untold costs associated with disasters are those losses due to fraud. Often “fly-by-night” contractors appear in communities right after a disaster and prey on victims by swindling them out of their limited resources by offering cheap and quick repair work.
Some signs that a contractor could be trying to take advantage of you: