Michael Stone’s latest advice offers tips on how to work with the government when it comes to dealing with unlicensed contractors. As we’ve been reporting in Remodeling’s daily newsletter, fraud committed by these unlicensed contractors have lost families thousands and thousands of dollars nationwide. Stone says that he thinks that states and local governments need to put in place better mechanisms for finding con artist contractors.
The problem is that flaky, uneducated and just plain dishonest contractors are allowed to be in business. I'm going to get some disagreement here, but I believe all states should be licensing contractors. Right now, most of the coastal states require contractor licensing at the state level. Through the middle of the United States it's a mixed bag. Some states license at the city or county level, other states license with larger counties only, many states don't require any licensing unless you're an electrical or plumbing contractor.
States should also be requiring bonds, and having the bond level match the size of jobs they perform. Apparently Louisiana doesn't require any bonding on jobs under $50,000. That's a mistake. The problem jobs, the ones where the contractor takes the money and doesn't perform, are almost always jobs below $50,000. If they have to get a bond, the flakes will take their scams and schemes to some other market.
To read his full post, click below.