You may think you are getting a bargain, but you end up having to deal with a whole lot more than you bargained for. Unlicensed contractors are essentially scam artist who will end up costing you a whole lot more money and frustration than you think you’re saving.
Ten facts you need to know about unlicensed home improvement contractors:
- Each year, unlicensed home improvement contractors defraud Maryland homeowners of millions of dollars by cheating and stealing.
- An unlicensed contractor may have a criminal history of violent crimes; he may be on probation. Perhaps he’s also ripped off other homeowners.
- Often an unlicensed contractor will quote a very low price and then demand more money or engage in a “bait and switch” scam.
- Often unlicensed contractors charge for work they never perform or for unnecessary repairs.
- Elderly homeowners are favorite targets of unlicensed contractors.
- Many unlicensed contractors come to Maryland from other states, so recovering money or stolen items can be very difficult.
- It is a crime to act as a home improvement contractor, subcontractor or salesperson in the State of Maryland without an MHIC license.
- If a home improvement ad, contract, or vehicle, says “Licensed and Bonded,” the individual is most likely not licensed and has no bond. Bonding companies typically do not issue performance bonds for residential jobs.
- Unlicensed contractors drive vehicles with no MHIC number posted on the sides of the vehicles. Sometimes the MHIC number is a fake, so it’s important to check with MHIC to see if the license number is valid and was issued to the individual who offers the home improvement service.
- Many unlicensed contractors held a MHIC license in the past and had their license revoked because they performed shoddy work, failed to complete jobs, or for other violations of law.
There are countless horror stories of unsuspecting homeowners getting ripped off by unlicensed contractors, and frequently the damage isn’t just to your wallet. Shoddy work can cause irreparable damage to your home and put your family in danger.
You wouldn’t let an unlicensed doctor operate you, so don’t let unlicensed contractors operate on your home. For more information you can go to the Maryland DLLR or check out this article on unlicensed contractors.