Don't let a fraudulent contractor bring your roof down on your head.
2020-08-04 10:40 PDT
Contractor fraud refers to the illegal or unethical business practices of contractors or contracting firms who renovate, repair or (re)build residential homes. The North Vancouver RCMP is offering some tips to help prevent becoming a victim.
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"Homeowners looking to do renovations ultimately place their trust in the contractor they hire," said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. "The contractor is the expert. They know what work needs to be done, they have a good idea what the material will cost, they have a sense of how long it will take, and they know what permits will be needed."
That leaves many customers at a disadvantage when trying to determine if everything the contractor is telling them is true. But homeowners can balance their risk by doing a bit of due diligence.
"Thoroughly research the contractors you are considering," said DeVries. "For starters, check their references, verify their business license and insurance, and ask to see any building permits they need to get for your job. Make sure to get multiple quotes as well, because the more contractors you interview, the better you will get at spotting those that are trustworthy and those that are setting up to take advantage of you."
Although not always an indication of fraudulent business practices, this list of potential flags should prompt customers to do some careful investigating before making their decision:
- asking for a substantial upfront cash advance;
- leaving out key project details (often goes hand-in-hand with a low-ball offer);
- purportedly running into unexpected problems that require additional cash;
- selling you materials supposedly left over from previous jobs.
Sgt. Peter DeVriesMedia Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
nvan.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
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