After current flooding in July and the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the Pennsylvania Lawyer Normal’s Workplace issued a shopper alert warning on house restore or enchancment scams.
“As Pennsylvania rebuilds and recovers from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, scammers will attempt to benefit from shopper panic to make a revenue. I’m asking Pennsylvania owners to report suspicious presents to my workplace,” Lawyer Normal Josh Shapiro mentioned.
As a part of Pennsylvania’s House Enchancment Client Safety Act, owners ought to keep in mind:
- A house enchancment contractor should give you a duplicate of the entire contract, freed from cost.
- You could have the precise to rescind your private home enchancment contract with out penalty inside three enterprise days of the signing date, besides as offered underneath regulation for fast emergency conditions together with energy or water outages.
- A house enchancment contract is just not enforceable towards a shopper if it doesn’t embody the entire info required by regulation.
- A contractor could not demand or obtain any cost for a house enchancment earlier than the house enchancment contract is signed. After the contract is signed, the contractor can’t request greater than one-third of a contract worth totaling greater than $5,000 earlier than completion of the mission.
- All contractors should show their official registration quantity on all contracts, estimates, proposals, and ads distributed inside the Commonwealth.
Shapiro’s workplace reminded Pennsylvanians that:
- After main storms like Hurricane Ida, owners may even see extra cases of scams associated to house enchancment contracting and authorities loans or grants.
- Reputable contractors and authorities businesses is not going to ship Pennsylvanians unsolicited presents.
- Reputable organizations can even not ask for big sums of cash, and can present written estimates and contracts earlier than getting into into any agreements.
- Beneath Pennsylvania regulation, contractors who carry out house enhancements totaling greater than $5,000 per yr are required to register with the Workplace. Pennsylvanians are inspired to confirm contractor registration by calling or emailing the Workplace.
Pennsylvanians are additionally inspired to take proactive steps to guard themselves from house enchancment scams by:
- Contacting their insurance coverage corporations to make sure that enhancements are lined underneath their coverage. As soon as a home-owner selects a contractor to finish repairs, they need to not signal insurance coverage checks or claims over to a contractor.
- Arranging with their financial institution or credit score union for a Certificates of Completion. The financial institution can pay the contractor for every stage of the job after they’ve given their approval.
The Workplace of Lawyer Normal’s contractor registration search characteristic is obtainable on-line at https://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov.
Householders who encounter issues with their contractor that can’t be settled via the contract or encounter a rip-off contractor, are requested to achieve out to the workplace by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-800-441-2555.
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