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County warns of storm damage repair scams | News

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County warns of storm damage repair scams
News, Weather
County warns of storm damage repair scams

Pinellas County, Florida -- Many areas in the county have incurred property damage as a result of Tropical Storm Debby. 

Pinellas County Department of Justice & Consumer Services reminds citizens to be cautious when hiring a contractor. 

Avoid becoming a victim of a home improvement scam by recognizing the warning signs:

  • Watch out for "fly-by-night" contractors who take deposits and do little or no work. Avoid dealing with anyone soliciting work door-to-door. Take the opportunity to check them out first.
  • Be wary of contractors who ask for advance payment in full. Pay upon completion or as the work progresses.
  • Beware of any contractor who claims that extensive or structural repairs do not require a permit. The contractor should pull the required building permits, not the homeowner. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure that your repairs are completed satisfactory:
  • Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify that the license is current and active by contacting the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at (727) 582-3100 or www.pcclb.com.
  • Be sure that you have a written contract that details the work to be completed.  Also, retain proof of payment for the work in case you need it later.
  • Require the contractor to supply a final affidavit indicating that all subcontractors and suppliers used on the job are paid in full.
  • Ensure that the contractor has had the work inspected by the building department before you make final payment.

To check the complaint history of a business or if you need assistance with a consumer problem, contact Justice & Consumer Services at (727) 464-6200 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/consumer.

 

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