Consumer Alert: New York Division of State’s Division of Shopper Security Releases Guidebook with Tips to Assist Homeowners Steer clear of Home Advancement Frauds

For this week’s “Tuesday’s Recommendations,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Client Protection (DCP) declared the launch of a in depth guide with guidelines to assist homeowners stay clear of residence improvement scams. Home enhancement frauds have continually rated as a person of the leading 5 shopper problems from New Yorkers. DCP gets hundreds of complaints each and every yr concerning house contractors’ bad workmanship, overcharges, unfinished work and failure to display up or finish the job. The manual is component three of a 5-element consumer warn series to support New Yorkers navigate housing cons, which are a continuously expanding chance for buyers. Adhere to the New York Division of State on Fb, Twitter and Instagram and test in each individual Tuesday for far more practical strategies that teach and empower New York customers on a range of subjects. Sign up to acquire client alerts straight to your e mail or phone in this article.

“As the warmer weather conditions strategies, quite a few New York consumers are commencing to think about setting up fix and advancement assignments to spruce up their houses, and at the same time, fraudulent contractors are wanting for owners to fraud,” Secretary of Condition Robert J. Rodriguez mentioned. “These scammers will typically choose your money and go away you and your house even worse off than when you commenced, but there are means to defend you from these widespread dwelling improvement scams. Pursuing our very simple tips, like procuring close to, checking references and realizing your legal rights, can assist you location the big difference between a probable scam and a contractor you can believe in.”

Ideas To Avoid Dwelling Enhancement Scams:

  • Shop around – Get at the very least 3 estimates that contain specific information and facts about the supplies and companies to be offered for the job, as very well as the undertaking timeline.  
  • Get references and check out them – Question mates and neighbors for contractors they suggest. Often get hold of references offered to you. Talk right to former clients and request to see illustrations of prior function.  
  • Know the codes – Check out with your town or county about permit requirements and the applicable creating codes. Be confident you or your contractor attain the needed permits.
  • Test your regional governing administration licensing demands. NYS does not license household improvement contractors, on the other hand, some counties and nearby municipalities do. For illustration, dwelling advancement contractors will have to be granted a license to perform in New York Metropolis and Buffalo, and in the counties of Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland. If your regional governing administration calls for licensure for household improvement contractors or specific dwelling improvement trades, be confident to only seek the services of a licensed contractor.
  • Just take edge of professional associations – Area house builder associations may well offer to advise reputable contractors and give support if there’s a dispute with the suggested contractor.  
  • Get it in crafting – Insist on a published agreement that involves (1) description of the do the job to be finished, (2) timeline, (3) price and (4) payment timetable. Request that any modifications to the deal be in composing. 
  • Never ever shell out the total rate upfront – Build a payment timetable tied to the completion of distinct phases of the task. Withhold closing payment right up until the whole undertaking is concluded to your pleasure.  
  • Right before remaining payment – Maintain closing payment until eventually you total a final walkthrough, approve of all the concluded work and all expected inspections and certificates of occupancy are shipped. 
  • Know your legal rights – You have a few times to terminate soon after signing a contract for property improvements. All cancellations have to be in composing.  
  • Running into problems? 1st, converse with your contractor and try to get to a resolution. If a resolution is not possible, file a complaint with your community customer security agency, the New York Division of Buyer Safety or the New York Point out Attorney Normal.  

About the New York Condition Division of Shopper Defense

The New York Condition Division of Shopper Safety supplies means and training supplies to people, as properly as voluntary mediation providers among consumers and enterprises. The Shopper Help Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is out there Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding Condition Vacations, and customer issues can be submitted at any time at

For other buyer safety tips and purchaser alerts, consumers can go to the DCP website or stick to DCP on social media through Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Fb at