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WHAT IS CONTRACTOR FRAUD?
Contractor fraud occurs when individual contractors or firms offer services that knowingly mislead the other party, such as performing unsatisfactory repairs or charging more than a job is worth. Usually, these illegal acts are expensive for homeowners because they rack up costly bills or can even lead to unnecessary additional repairs. Click below for the Louisiana Revised Statute for contractor fraud...
Common signs of Contractor Fraud
Common tactics used by fraudulent contractors include threats or intimidation, with the intent of going after individuals. When you are planning to hire a contractor for work on your property, these steps can help protect you from becoming a victim of contractor fraud, and do your best to keep the transaction as clear-cut as possible:
• Requiring payment up front
Do not pay more than $1000 or 10% of the job total, whichever is the lesser amount.
• Written contracts that do not include the entire agreement
Make sure that you read all contracts before signing them. You will want to read carefully to be sure that everything you want, expect, and agree to is included in the final contract. If the written contract is missing parts of the agreement you made verbally with the contractor, do not sign until it has been edited.
•Contractors not getting the correct permits
Request that the contractor get a builder's permit. This will protect you from unlicensed contractors.
•Contractors revealing unforeseen problems that need extra work
When you review the contract, before you sign it, make sure that it includes a clause that requires the homeowner and contractor must both sign off on the project before anything is charged or worked on.
• Intentionally misquoting project costs and selling extra materials to you for a cheap price
While it may sound like a good deal, it is best not to buy anything on the spot, especially if it's an impulse buy. Always do your research before buying materials, and make sure the contractor has a good reputation.
If you feel that you may be a victim of contractor fraud, please do not hesitate to contact LPSO today!
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