How to Defend Yourself Against Crooked Contractors

How to Defend Yourself Against Crooked Contractors

crooked contractors

My services tend to be called upon after the homeowner has already fallen victim to a scam. It is sad, but true. That does not mean I cannot teach you how to defend yourself against crooked contractors. The key is to be informed and prepared to identify the scam in advance. Here are three common scams, followed by the best defense:

Asking For the Money Upfront

According to the Better Business Bureau, this is the most common scam perpetrated by crooked contractors. You are told that materials must be ordered or equipment has to be rented. The contractor asks for too much upfront and then either disappears immediately thereafter or does a mediocre job because he or she knows you will not fire someone that already has your money.

The Verbal Understanding

 A contractor can be very eager to agree to your specifications. He may even suggest additional touches or upgrades. You agree to it all because you feel you have a clear verbal understanding. What you really have is precisely what you agreed to by signing the contract. Do not be surprised when what you discussed ends up costing extra because it was never in writing.


Most construction requires a permit. Building officials must be able to visit the site and confirm that the work meets safety codes. Regardless of the size of the project, or whether it is interior or exterior, failure to obtain a permit makes you responsible. You will have to answer to the authorities, not the contractor.

If you have questions regarding a home improvement contract, contact this office for an initial consultation before signing the contract.  You will be glad that an attorney had the opportunity to review the contract, which will likely save you a lot of time, money and agony in the future.  

The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC

is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.

Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment

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