News 12 provides tips to avoid unlicensed contracting work
The increase in home improvements is also causing a spike in unlicensed contracting work.
The Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection has 125 active cases against unlicensed contractors, ranging from shoddy work to stolen deposits.
Here are some tips for homeowners:
Avoid unsolicited offers
Never pay for a job upfront
Only give a deposit after a contract is signed.
Double check if the company is licensed and insured.
If you live in a county that doesn't require a license, look up the company online to make sure it is reputable.
In Rockland County, nearly all work requires a license and companies can be hit with a misdemeanor if they work without one.
"I'll suspend someone on the spot if they have an employee without workmans' comp," says James Elcik, director of the Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection. "Because if something happens to that employee in the home, the homeowner is responsible."
Rockland County keeps track of contractors, so check with the county to see if someone is licensed or has filed a complaint.