Fraudulent contractors who don’t deliver the results that they initially promised are a thorn in the sides of homeowners from all over the country. The problem has gotten so bad in some areas, like Topeka, that new legislation has been enacted to help protect homeowners who hire contractors. Last year, legislators approved the Roofing Contractor Registration Act that requires every contractor that charges for a roof to obtain a registration certificate from the attorney general’s office.
The law originally took effect on the first day of July last summer. Since then, some 700 roofers had registered, according to Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Shmidt hopes to encourage homeowners to use the law as a resource when they need to renovate or install a new roof, especially with the spring storm season arriving. Homeowners should ask for a copy of their contractor’s registration certificate and see if they can find it in the online directory maintained by Schmidt’s office.
It is particularly important for homeowners to protect themselves from uninsured roofers to make sure that they get what they pay for. Contractors might promise fast and cheap installation of additions like slate roofing, which requires little to no maintenance, only to take weeks to finish, if they do at all. By using the registry, Kansas residents will be better able to protect their investment and make sure the roof they install will withstand the stormy weather.
In Frankfort, Kentucky, similar problems have resulted in a contractor has pleaded guilty to theft by deception, a class D felony. That prompted Attorney General Jack Conway to give homeowners in the state notice to be careful about the contractors they hire in a news release.
“Never pay in advance for labor,” the statement says. “Scam artists often take advance payments from consumers and never return to complete the work. If an advance is needed to purchase materials, offer to purchase the materials yourself.”
It also says, “Use local, reputable contractors for repairs, if possible. If local contractors bring in out-of-town workers, ask who will be responsible for their work if it is not satisfactory.” And, like Schmidt, he says homeowners should ask if the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Unfortunately, there are lots of contractors in the U.S. who commit fraud and fail to deliver what they originally agreed to and rip off thousands from homeowners. Hopefully, new legislations and careful homeowners can put an end to that troubling trend.