Rock Hill: Unlicensed contractors may take advantage of hail damage

adouglas@heraldonline.comMay 30, 2014 

Rock Hill officials are warning homeowners that unlicensed contractors may prey upon residents with building damage after last week’s hail storm.

The city on Friday advised homeowners to check with Rock Hill’s Planning and Development Department before hiring home repair contractors. All contractors must have a state-issued license and a city business license before they can work in Rock Hill.

To repair homes, the contractor also must have a permit for each property, officials said. Most insurance companies will require that work is done by a licensed contractor to be covered by homeowner’s insurance.

“Unlicensed contractors often try to solicit business and perform poor quality work that doesn’t comply with building codes,” the city said in a statement.

Homeowners should carefully screen contractors before hiring them or giving them money for repairs, city officials said. The city provided the following tips for spotting an unlicensed contractor:

• Soliciting door-to-door and using high-pressure sales pitches or scare tactics.

• Requesting a large cash down payment.

• Refusing to give a written contract or guarantee.

• Offering large discounts to sign up immediately, claiming they did a job nearby and have leftover materials.

• Requesting to perform the work over the weekend to avoid city inspectors.

Homeowners should ask for a copy of the contractor’s state license, city business license and permit, and their insurance coverage, officials said. Homeowners should insist on a written contract or guarantee for the work before paying a deposit or allowing the contractor to start.

To ensure a contractor is reputable, city officials advise asking the company or contractor for references from people who have hired them before.

For more information on home repair or permitting guidelines, call 803-329-5590 or go to cityofrockhill.com.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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