As Kansas homeowners and small businesses cleanup and assess damage from recent storms, it’s important to be on the lookout for fraudulent contractors. These fly-by-night scam artists literally chase storms and go from town to town following severe weather, looking for houses with roof damage and offering to start repairs right away if you pay up front.
The job may never be completed or the work may be poorly done. Either way, by the time you realize what’s happened, the alleged contractor has already moved on to the next town.
Scams like this can be avoided by getting references and checking credentials before signing any contract or paying any money, no matter how tempting it may be to get the repair done right away.
“Springtime in Kansas means the threat of severe weather is ongoing,” said Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
“When the roofs of homes or businesses are damaged by these storms, it is important that consumers make sure their roofing contractor is properly registered before signing any contract or having any work done.
"Consumers should request a copy of their roofer’s registration certificate and then should check our consumer protection website to confirm that the registration remains active.”
Roofing contractors in Kansas are now required to register with the state. This requirement to register with the attorney general’s office is in addition to any other local requirements that may be imposed by cities or counties.
The Kansas Roofing Contractor Registration Act was passed during the 2013 legislative session and took effect July 1, 2013. With few exceptions, the law requires roofing contractors to obtain a registration certificate from the Kansas Attorney General in order to legally provide commercial or residential roofing services for a fee in Kansas. It is designed to ensure that legitimate roofing contractors are complying with state requirements, such as carrying appropriate insurance, and to help prevent fly-by-night operators from taking advantage of Kansas consumers.
Working with a roofer that is registered is a bare minimum to help prevent problems. The attorney general’s office also recommends the following tips in dealing with any transient contractors, including roofers:
1. Get recommendations and references.
2. Get at least three written estimates from different contractors.
3. Check contractor complaint records with the Better Business Bureau.
4. Understand your payment options and right to cancel.
Any Kansans who have problems with roofing contractors or other companies that follow storms may file a request for the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division to investigate at (800) 432-2310 or www.InYourCornerKansas.org.
The attorney general requests that Kansans promptly report any unregistered person or company attempting to sell roofing services by calling his office or using the online reporting form.