Sheriff warns about unlicensed contractors

Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 17:57:29-04

As the damage from Hurricane Hermine is assessed, Sheriff Chris Nocco is warning homeowners with damage to watch out for unlicensed contractors and scam artists.

"People from out of state know that Florida got hit with this hurricane, so they're going to try to take advantage of the situation." He said. "They're going to come in, we're going to get over loaded with unlicensed contractors, above and beyond what are already here."

The Sheriff says there haven't been any reports of unlicensed contractors yet, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.

"We've already seen it." Regan Weiss, spokesperson for Team Farrell, a general contracting company, said.

"I've talked to home owners already who are getting 5 to 7 people knocking on their door already saying, 'We can help you. We can help you. You have to pay us cash upfront.'"

Weiss says that's the first red flag. A licensed contractor may ask for the amount of the deductible to start work, but he says they should never ask for major cash upfront.

Weiss also says you should be weary of anyone cold knocking on your door. Immediately ask that person for license and insurance information. Also, go outside and look at their vehicle. It's state law that their license information be posted on their vehicle.

Unlicensed work can not only be poorly done, not up to code and dangerous, if the unlicensed contractor or his workers get hurt on your property, you could be paying for their bills.

"The homeowner is actually liable for the injuries that occur." Sheriff Nocco said.