How to Landlords can Protect Themselves from Contractor Scams
Many landlords have fallen victims to a variety of contractor frauds, from shoddy repairs to price gouging to people who take the money and run. Contractors say a lot of things when they are about to cheat you. Some of the most common frauds reported to the Better Business Bureau include:
- Contractor said they need money upfront
- Contractor failed to adhere to a verbal agreement
- Contractor has no work permit
- Contractor said they ran into unforeseen problems so the price has increased
- Hired contractor on the spot
Here’s how to protect yourself from contractor scams.
Get written quotes
All estimates must be in writing with the company’s letterhead and contact information clearly visible on the document. Make sure you keep copies of all agreements and warranty terms.
Get more than one bid
Have at least three bids from different contractors as this will help you to decide which offers may be too high or too good to be true. If possible, speak with your insurance company to determine what the cost might be.
Don’t pay upfront
Partial payment upfront to get the job started is okay. But don’t make your final payment until the job is finished to your satisfaction and you receive any necessary permits. Credible contractors never ask for payment before they start work.
Check out companies
Conduct thorough research about the contractors you’re dealing with. Make sure to check references, phone numbers, and addresses, if possible. Beware of a contractor who only has out-of-town references or who solicits door to door.
Beware of offers to waive the deductible
The deductible is part of your insurance agreement. It is illegal for contractors to offer to waive a deductible or promise a rebate for all or part of a deductible. If a contractor offers to “work the deductible into the bid,” run.
We will assist in protecting you at Real Property Management Enterprises. Our RPM staff is ready to help you and protect your investment, it is what we do.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.