Avoid Scams After Disaster Strikes: Seek Licensed Contractor

Business Public Health & Safety

Navigating the aftermath of a hurricane can be a lengthy and emotional process that includes evaluating damages and potential reconstruction. Unfortunately, during these challenging times, there is a heightened risk for scammers to exploit those already in a vulnerable situation.

Orange County experts strongly recommend residents to differentiate between licensed and unlicensed contractors before rebuilding to avoid costly mistakes.

Follow these six tips to ensure a safe and seamless hiring process.

Hire a local contractor. If issues arise, you will know exactly how to track them down.
Secure a licensed contractor with liability insurance.
Bid the job to multiple contractors and compare services.
Review contracts carefully before signing anything.
Avoid handshake deals altogether.
Ensure the contractor secures proper permits. Unpermitted work can be costly to a homeowner with fines and reconstruction.
Confirm references and the contractor’s license. Myfloridalicense.com and FastTrack.ocfl.net are helpful sites. To verify a state license, or report unlicensed activity, visit the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation My Florida License webpage.

For questions about permitting requirements and contractor licensing in Orange County, please call the Division of Building Safety at 407-836-5550 or email ContractorLicensing@ocfl.net.

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