LITTLE ROCK – Most of Arkansas was rocked by heavy rains and thousands of power outages as storms tore through the Natural State. While many Arkansans want to help their neighbors clean up after a storm, con artists will seize the opportunity to take advantage during a vulnerable moment. Keep your home and family safe from con artists just trying to make a quick buck.
“Arkansas is just one big small town, and I will go after those who take advantage of our loved ones,” said Attorney General Rutledge.
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to ensure Arkansans hire a reputable contractor to complete home repairs:
- Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling home-repair work. To find someone reputable, ask friends or family who have recently used a home-repair contractor or professional. Consider contacting the Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing Board to verify that the contractor is licensed and has not had any complaints filed against it.
- Avoid any home-repair solicitor who asks for an upfront payment or who will not provide you with a written contract.
- Get at least three written estimates. A reputable contractor or professional will never try to pressure you to obtain your business.
- Obtain and check at least three references from your contractor or professional.
- Check with the Attorney General’s office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if the company has a complaint history.
- Obtain a written and detailed contract that includes the grade, quality, name brand and quantity of any materials to be used. The name and address of the contractor must be on the contract.
- Avoid paying for the entire job up front. One-third paid in advance, one-third paid halfway through the job and one-third paid upon completion is a better plan, helping assure that your project will be completed. Never make the final payment until you have had an opportunity to inspect the work.
- Remember that all contracts resulting from a home-solicitation sale generally must include a buyer’s right to cancel within three business days after the contract is signed.
- Make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing.
- A contractor cannot promise that your insurance company will cover the work done. Verify your insurance coverage and authorized contractors before you agree to pay for repairs.