How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

Unfortunately, fraud in the construction sector is not uncommon in our country. If in the field of buying and selling real estate there is a risk of encountering “black” realtors, then in the field of construction and repair there are often unscrupulous contractors who are ready to make money on gullible customers.

In this regard, we will give advice on how to choose the right contractor:

  1. It is best to use the recommendations of friends and relatives. If any of them recently made repairs or built a house, a bathhouse, be sure to ask them to share their impressions of the performers. Such “word of mouth” helps to get reliable information about repair and construction teams.
  2. If you could not get recommendations from friends, then choose a company with a good reputation. The presence of a website, a permanent office, reviews, all permits, work experience are very important indicators.
  3. Working with construction companies licensed by the State Construction Committee, members of SROs, is more reliable than with private individuals, but the services of such firms are usually more expensive.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

If your choice fell on a private construction team, it should still be possible to conclude a contract. A big plus if a private trader is registered as an individual entrepreneur and can sign contracts.

Important! In any case, the contract with the contractor must be drawn up correctly, in accordance with all legal requirements. The document should clearly state the responsibility and obligations of the parties, terms, cost.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

What should alert you when choosing a contractor for repair or construction:

  1. The requirement to pay an advance payment of 30% or even 50% of the total cost of the service. There is a great risk that, having received the money, the contractor will simply disappear and it will be very difficult for you to find him, the place of registration of the company may turn out to be fictitious, and the phone will simply stop working.
  2. The price of construction or major repairs is noticeably lower than that of competitors. No self-respecting conscientious contractor will underestimate the cost of their services, so we advise you to conduct a market analysis and choose a profitable but reasonable offer.
  3. The company opened just a month ago, newbie. Fraudsters do not stay on the construction market for a long time if the company is more than two years old – this is a weighty argument in its favor.
  4. The contractor did not start work on the agreed day, delays the start of execution, arguing that he was busy at another facility or the lack of the required number of workers. This is a wake-up call, probably, the contractor is either not going to fulfill his duties at all, or will delay all stages of construction or repair, disrupting the deadlines.
  5. The estimate does not include a number of works. In this case, it turns out that you have to constantly pay extra for something, the price of the object will increase significantly. Such scammers initially attract customers with a low price of “turnkey houses”, in the end it turns out that the cost is much higher, but there is nowhere to go – the work has begun.
  6. The estimate, on the contrary, may be overestimated, it may indicate excess amounts of materials. As a result, you will initially overpay, and the contractor will save on the purchase.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

The most serious risks include hack-work – poor quality construction and repair work. This is most often cheated by private contractors who hire non-professionals. They may not take an advance payment, perform all the work, but their quality will be low and will not satisfy the customer.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

We advise you to order an estimate from a third-party organization that is not interested in understating or overstating the cost. Yes, you have to pay extra, but you will receive an estimate with exact numbers. As for the fight against hack-work, it is advisable to personally supervise the process of repair or construction, delve into all the details and do not hesitate to ask – why are you doing this way and not otherwise.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

Important! Most often, the victims of scammers are customers who seek to save money, no matter what, and ignorant owners who are completely far from construction and repair. The former can be promised a big discount and attracted at a lower price, the latter can simply be cheated by buying, for example, the cheapest materials or performing low-quality work.

If you cannot control the construction or repair yourself due to lack of time and knowledge, you can hire a professional who will do it for you. In this situation, architectural supervision will help, when the developer of the project of your future home or interior designer carefully monitors how his idea is being implemented.

How to protect yourself from a fraudulent contractor

If the contractor nevertheless deceived you, lawyers advise you to act according to this scheme – a claim against the firm – an appeal to the court – an appeal to the bailiffs in order to return your funds or receive compensation. You should also contact the police if the contractor simply disappeared after receiving an advance payment. But, we admit, such appeals do not often lead to positive results, so initially, be vigilant and do not make mistakes when choosing a contractor..

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