Severe winds this week caused damage across Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is reminding property owners to be wary of repair fraud.
DATCP reminds property owners to only use trusted contractors for repairs, and to be wary of traveling crews who show up after storms. Rely on trusted sources, and do not give into aggressive sales pitches, they said.
Homeowners with storm damage should do the following (verbatim from DATCP):
- Be wary of any contractor who knocks at your door. If your municipality has a door-to-door sales ordinance, call municipal officials to find out if the contractor holds the proper permits.
- Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs. If the person collecting your money does not pay their supplier or worker, a lien could be put on your property.
- Get a written contract with exactly what work will be done, what materials will be used, a start and completion date, and warranty information.
- Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit and make sure an inspector visits the job site before you provide final payment.
- Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability insurance.
- Keep all receipts that document the cost of repairs or the replacement of damaged items.
If you have any questions, contact the DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128, or file a consumer complaint to DATCP. More information can be found on the DATCP’s Consumer Protection Bureau website.
Read their statement in full below: