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Ripped Off by a Contractor: How To Fight Back

Ripped Off by a Contractor: How To Fight Back

Every year, thousands of homeowners in every state work with qualified contractors to handle various home improvement projects. Some of the improvement work handled includes:

  • Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrade
  • Roof Replacement
  • Gutter Works
  • Repair of a Leaking Roof
  • Home Remodeling Projects
  • Floor Works

Those homeowners who work with professional and reputable contractors get their job done to specifications. However, the same cannot be said for the hundreds of homeowners who work with contractors who have a bad reputation. Many people get ripped off by contractors who perform very bad work. If you have been on the receiving end of a bad contractor, here are some innovative techniques you can use to fight back.

File an Official Complaint

One of the most important ways you can fight back is filing a complaint with your state licensing board. Every state has its rules and regulations that govern the behavior and actions of the contractors. The board verifies and issues the licenses to the contractors.

Filing an official complaint with your state may not help you get your money back directly but may cancel the contractor’s operational license. If the contractor realizes that his license is cancelled, they are more likely to return your money immediately.

Post Negative Reviews

In the modern business environment, the reputation of a business or contractor is critical. Any contractor receiving negative reviews will struggle to get employment opportunities, and they could run out of business. You can use this strategy as a way of attracting negative attention to the contractor who ripped you off.

By posting negative reviews on various online platforms, your contractor will offer to re-do the work or return your money with the promise that you will delete the negative review. However, always make sure you have proof of the bad work done to avoid damaging a contractor’s reputation with unjustifiable claims.

Pursue a Bond Claim

In most states around the country, providing a surety bond is one of the licensing requirements for contractors. This bond helps to safeguard the interests of the customers if they feel that contractors have ripped them off.

If your contractor fails to meet their end of the bargain, you can always lodge against the surety bond. Surety agencies are very open and will be willing to help you where necessary. Some of the means through which surety agencies can help you include:

  • Forcing the original contractor to re-do the project
  • Hiring a new home remodeling contractor
  • Payment for damages

Withhold Further Payments

When writing the contractual agreement, agree to release the last payment after all the work has been done. Using this strategy, you will have the upper hand, and you will force your contractor to do the best possible job on your site.

It will also prevent your contractor from moving into another job before your work has been done. If the contractor does not adhere to the contractual agreement, you can legally withhold the final payments because the job has not been done.

Hire an Attorney

In some instances, your contractor may cause an injury to you or a member of your family. This usually happens when the project is left incomplete in a manner that compromises the safety of the users. This is a serious act of negligence that can easily injure a member of your family. In such situations, the best option is to contact your construction accident lawyer to sue the contractor.

Any of these methods will force the bad contractor to return your money or handle your project professionally. However, before engaging in any of the following strategies, you must speak with your contractor and express your frustrations. If they’re not willing to offer any solution, you can go ahead and use any of the measures discussed above.


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by Irma Dengler // With a BA in communications and paralegal experience, Irma C. Dengler decided to combine her skills. In the past, when she was involved in proceedings of her own, she witnessed firsthand the weight of legal language. A convoluted terminology can easily disarm the average American. Therefore, she set off to empower her readers by making the law more accessible to them. Although she has covered all areas of civil and criminal law, insurance-related issues, and her area of specialty are personal injury cases.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.