Attorney General Mike DeWine...
Contractors Following Clermont County Tornados
for anyone seeking assistance from storm or other damage.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Following the violent storms in southern Ohio this
weekend, Attorney General Mike DeWine today offered a warning to
residents to beware of traveling contractors who try to take advantage
of homeowners in need of assistance.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by the
tornado and storms,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Members of my
office are in Clermont County now working with local officials to
assess the situation and determine how we can help. In the meantime, we
want to warn all affected homeowners to be wary of fly-by-night
contractors trying to take advantage of this sad situation.”
Ohio Attorney General representatives currently are in the village of
Moscow, which was devastated by the storm. Representatives are
discussing with local officials the office’s Contractor Registration
Program, which is designed to help protect affected communities from
contractors who try to take advantage of them. If a community chooses
to implement the program, the community would pass an emergency
ordinance requiring contractors to register before doing work in the
affected area. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office would assist with the
registration process and verify information provided on contractor
After disaster strikes, traveling contractors may come into a community
to try to take money for services that they do not provide and make
promises that they do not keep.
DeWine offers the following tips for homeowners who are looking for
Research the contractor before signing any contract. Obtain the name,
address, and phone number of any contractor agreeing to do work for
you. Ask for identification from the company’s representative. Check
out consumer complaints with the Attorney General and the Better
Be cautious. Do not accept services from any contractor who refuses to
provide proper identification, does not have a permanent place of
business, cannot provide references, or insists on a large payment
before work begins.
Get written estimates. Do some shopping and get estimates from more
than one contractor. Refuse to do business with a company that does not
provide a written estimate.
Never sign over your insurance check to a contractor. If you are
financing the transaction, arrange for a certificate of completion with
your bank. The bank will pay the contractor for each completed stage of
the job only after you give your permission.
Get a sworn statement. Insist that the contractor provide you with a
sworn statement that all materials have been paid for and all
subcontractors have been paid. This will protect you from liens which
may be placed on your property if the contractor fails to pay all
suppliers and subcontractors.
Ohioans who have questions about a contractor or those who believe they
have been treated unfairly should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s
Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov