Calgarians cautioned about hiring shady summer contractors
Published Wednesday, June 24, 2015 11:03AM MDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:42PM MDT
The summer construction season is underway and police are warning Calgarians to keep an eye out for unscrupulous contractors and renovation scams.
The Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit is reminding people to be diligent when hiring contractors.
Police say there have been six frauds reported involving contractor services since the beginning of May and they have been notified of ten cases of contractor fraud so far this year.
Police have these tips for homeowners who are considering hiring a contractor:
- Ensure you are dealing with an approved contracting company that is properly licensed and insured. The Better Business Bureau and The City of Calgary’s new online business licence database (www.calgary.ca/contractors) are useful resources
- Ask whether the contractor carries liability insurance. It is not required by law, but if a company does not have this, any damage to property resulting from the renovation may not be covered by the company you have hired
- Ask for, and contact, references
- Have the contractor sign a written contract that includes a start date, completion date, full details of the work and materials, and the complete cost
- Be cautious about paying for work or supplies before the work has been completed or the supplies have been delivered
- Be cautious of upfront deposits as only contractors who have a Pre-Paid Contractor’s Licence from Service Alberta can ask for a deposit. You can check for these licences by calling 1-877-427-4088.
Service Alberta offers also information about home renovation contracts and working with prepaid contractors. Click HERE for more tips on hiring contractor help.
Anyone who suspects they may be the victim of contractor fraud is asked to call police at the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234.