Protect yourself from being a Victim of an Unethical Contractor

We have all heard the horror stories of people taken advantage of by contractors. There are steps that you can take to make sure that you do not become another victim of a unethical contractor. You can look to your state and local government for regulating contractors that operate within their jurisdiction. As with any law, these will be different from place to place, but there are laws currently in place to protect you and your family from unethical contractors.

Contractor registration. Several states now have a requirement that contractors need to be registered. There are requirements with go along with getting registered. Most requirements will at the very least require that contractors provide contact date to be able to complete background checks. With knowing that you are working with a registered contractor, at least you will have the comfort level of knowing that they are on record with the local government.

Consumer notices. Now each state required that contractors notify customers about certain rights that they have. It is determined within the law itself at what time and how these notices are provided to customers. A notice that you will most likely see is called the pre-lien notice. This notice explains in detail that the contract has a right to place a lien against your property if they do not receive payment for the work that they complete.

Down Payment Protection. Now some states are implementing a down payment restriction which is stopping contractors from requesting excessive down payments for work to be completed. This will give you some re-assurance that the work will be completed as agreed upon.

Lien rights. Liens laws help explain to consumers when and how a lien must be filed. This helps protect consumers from bogus liens being filled against them.

Contractor Licensing. There are now some states that are now not only requiring registration but now requiring a contractor to be licensed. To be a licensed contractor you will be required to complete testing. This testing program will ensure that individuals are aware of state regulations, business practices, and knowledge in their area of work.

Advertising Laws– Company advertising is now also monitored and has requirements. Most states will require contractors to place their registration or license number on all over their advertising pieces.

It is important to make sure you are aware of your protections as a consumer. It is sad that we would have to take these measures but it is worth it to be sure you are not another victim of unethical contractors.

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