Illinois Attorney General Contractor Complaints: How to Protect Yourself
If you`re planning to hire a contractor for your home renovation or repair project in Illinois, you should be aware of the potential risks involved. According to the Illinois Attorney General`s office, contractor complaints are one of the most common types of consumer complaints received each year.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors and avoid becoming a victim of contractor fraud. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Do your research
Before hiring a contractor, do some research to make sure they are licensed and insured in Illinois. You can check the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation`s website to verify a contractor`s license status. You should also read online reviews and check their Better Business Bureau rating.
Get multiple bids
Getting multiple bids from different contractors will help you compare prices and ensure that you`re not being overcharged. Be sure to get the bids in writing and ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs.
Check for liens
Make sure that your contractor doesn`t have any outstanding liens on their property. Liens can be placed on a property if a contractor fails to pay their suppliers or subcontractors, which can lead to legal headaches and financial penalties for you.
Get everything in writing
Make sure that you have a written contract that outlines the scope of work, payment schedule, and any warranties or guarantees. Don`t rely on verbal promises or handshake deals.
Don`t pay everything upfront
It`s not uncommon for a contractor to ask for a portion of the payment upfront to cover the cost of materials, but be wary of contractors who ask for the entire payment before starting work. Make sure that your payment schedule is tied to the completion of specific milestones or deliverables.
Stay in touch
Make sure that you`re regularly communicating with your contractor throughout the project. If you have any concerns or issues, address them as soon as possible before they escalate into bigger problems.
In conclusion, hiring a contractor for your home renovation or repair project in Illinois can be a risky proposition. However, by doing your homework, getting everything in writing, and staying in touch with your contractor, you can protect yourself from contractor fraud and ensure that your project is a success.