After Hurricane Irma, the need for home repairs in the Tampa Bay area has gone through the roof. Unfortunately, that’s given unlicensed Tampa handyman and con-men an opportunity to make a quick buck — at the expense of homeowners in the Tampa area.
Even before the Hurricane, unlicensed handymen were a major problem for the Tampa Bay area. Back in June, the Tampa Bay Times was already reporting on the extent of contractor fraud in Tampa and the surrounding areas. The wave of unlicensed handymen who washed up with Irma have only made the problem worse.
In response, local officials have spoken out about the problem of unlicensed handymen in the Tampa Bay area. Here are just a few of the statements that have been issued:
- Hillsborough County Administrator, Mike Merrill, urged homeowners to report contractor fraud and warned them to “be careful about repair deals that sound too good to be true.”
- The Sherriff of Hernando County, Al Nienhuis, issued a statement advising residents, “Be cautious of contractors who have estimates that are much less than others.”
- Pinellas-Pasco Assistant State Attorney Liz Jack told homeowners, “Beware of scammers who will knock on your door and tell you a job just fell through and they can give you a good deal.”
Dangers of Unlicensed Tampa Handymen
There are all kinds of dangers that come with hiring an unlicensed contractor in Tampa.
To state the obvious, you’re putting yourself at risk for low-quality workmanship. At minimum, this leaves you and your home with an eyesore. At worst, you’re facing a major safety risk. Of course, that’s only if the work is done in the first place. Some “handymen” have been defrauding Tampa residents after Irma by asking homeowners to pay for repairs up front, then disappearing before doing any work.
A lack licensing typically also means a lack of insurance and bonding. This puts you at significant financial risk. If poor safety practices lead to a serious injury, or if poor workmanship results in costly damage to your home, you could be on the hook for five or even six figures. Contractors in Hillsborough County must be insured and bonded to be licensed.
How to Avoid Unlicensed Handymen in Tampa
Worried about falling prey to an unlicensed handyman in Tampa, FL? Here are some steps you can take to make sure your contractor is properly licensed:
- Be suspicious of any estimate far lower than going-rate prices.
- Expect a written contract before the contractor starts any work.
- Avoid any contractor who expects full payment up front.
- Use MyFloridaLicense.com or call (850) 487-1395 to verify that your handyman is licensed.
- Report unlicensed contractors through the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office or the Hillsborough County Development Services Department.
Another easy way to avoid contractor fraud is to contact the team at ANDY OnCall® Tampa. Our handyman services are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and backed by a one-year written warranty.
Contact ANDY OnCallTampa at (813) 961-2600 today to get a no-cost, no-hassle estimate on handyman services in the Tampa area.