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Posted on: October 3, 2018

Tips on Vetting Contractors for Recovery Work

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Government offers the following tips and resources to help citizens with vetting contractors to conduct repairs:


FEMA's Beware of Fraud and Scams: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/09/21/beware-fraud-and-scams 
NC Department of Justice Tips on Home Repair: https://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/Home-Repair-and-Home-Products/Home-Improvement.aspx 
NC Department of Justice Tips on Disaster Repair: https://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/Home-Repair-and-Home-Products/Disaster-Repair.aspx 
NC's Price Gouging Law: https://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/aedaa1df-3977-4106-9954-9e92b6f1cce9/Price-Gouging.aspx 
NC Department of Justice Tips on Roof Repair Scams: https://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/669f9d67-f516-4e29-9123-0d9b26ad9061/Roofers.aspx 
NC Department of Justice Tips on Tree Removal Scams: https://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/6b6e490d-b2c5-40e5-b6f4-8a7a964d9dbe/Tree-Removal.aspx 

If your citizens feel that they are being scammed or gouged on pricing, they can call the NCDOJ Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.  This office can also tell you whether previous complaints have been filed against a company or vendor, which is a pretty good indication that the company or vendor isn't reputable.

In addition, most homeowners insurance companies can provide information and guidance on contractor scams, so property owners should contact their insurance companies if they have any questions or concerns.

A final tip under NC law (Chapter 87), any construction or repair work on residential or commercial property (or government property for that matter) costing $30,000 or more must be performed by a contractor who hold a valid general contractor's license issued in this state (an out-of-state license is not acceptable unless the contractor has gained licensure reciprocity in this state). Performing construction or repair work without proper licensure is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.  One of the best ways a property owner can protect himself or herself is to ask a contractor for a copy of his license.  If they happily gives it to you, then it increases the likelihood that the company/contractor is legit, although the property owner should double check it by doing a quick license search on the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors website https://nclbgc.org/search/license.  If the contractor tries to convince you that licensure isn't required or shows you an out-of-state license, end the conversation.

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