Better Resident-Contractor Relations For Springtime [Homeowner Strategies]

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  • Author Hgrbs Nonprofit
  • Published March 12, 2021
  • Word count 999

Once in a while, we may hear about a resident who was defrauded by dishonest building trades persons working as home improvement contractors. But, in reality, the occurrences are very often. This spring we may want to be certain we are quite a bit more successful. Here are a few useful tips to that effect.

*Reality Check

Although, because of pandemic health risks, we may have curtailed inviting contractors over last year, we may be more receptive to the prospect now. Since that time, many of us have been devastated by wildfires, hurricanes, etc. Even now, quite a few of us are in the midst of recovery from freak winter weather conditions. Apparently, today, there is more of a demand among us for professional assistance with our home maintenance and improvement projects.

*Yet Some Things To Be Privy About

Evidently, those of us who require the seasoned skills of contractors to assist in our resolve to reinstate at least a decent representation of normalcy, can do well to be on guard against making bad decisions. We can easily ascribe such a predicament as “unsuccessful” resident-contractor relations.

There is scarcely anything more horrible than for us to be so focused on the work we require on our homes that we are less attentive about the importance of also KNOWING the “true” quality of the tradesmen/women we hire.

Subsequently, as a matter for being just as cognizant of the kind of contractors working for us as we are about what we need done around our property, here are a few items of interest which we may want to remember:

  1. Contractors we are unfamiliar with can be detrimental to our plans.

  2. Proven contractors in our neighborhood are often so swamped with requests that many of us will not immediately benefit from the value of their services.

  3. Our inability to get urgently needed action from reliable contractors we know can cause us to accept services from unknowns. Normally, in situations such as these, we do not get quality delivery – or any.

  4. After hiring some unknowns and learning they are residential thieves, it can require several more weeks, months, or years before we are able enough to get the caliber of service we require.

  5. Regardless of how honest, professional, and sincere an unknown contractor can appear, we may not want to give in to his/her offer to fill out insurance claim forms for us. In addition, it can be a lot safer to file the request via our attorney or personally for insurance claim funds project to cover all related costs and expenses.

Those are five of the basic items we can read over and again until we are certain we will not forget. Although each of the five points made are worth mention, these are greatly covered using links to the free HGRBS homeowner’s guides. These are provided ahead in the Reference Box. However, of the five items mentioned, there is one which we can briefly consider for emphasis: insurance claims (5.).

*Insurance Claims

This item about insurance claims is a uniquely noteworthy concern in that many of us are still feeling the impact of the recent hurricane, wildfire, winter, and other disaster. We want to restore our homes and other property as soon as possible. There are also many thousands who now have no housing. Therefore, between where we are and where we would much rather be, we need immense positive assistance: FEMA and/or private disaster coverage.

The latter, regarding insurance agencies with which we are currently registered, there is the most immediate danger from unknown building trades people. This is particularly so with those who are not from our vicinity. Their biggest scandal against residents is with our home insurers. Bad building trades people working as home repair and restoration contractors move from one disaster to another. Among their prime victims: heads of private households with relative home insurance policies.

*Case in Point

Recently, Fox News4 which hails from Dallas-Fortworth, Texas confirmed the presence of malicious contractors, especially in areas recovering from major disaster [see “Reference Box]. The major news network urgently informed the public of how great a threat this corrupt element can be. By this, it was referring to the illicit high-pressure tactics used to convince residents to give them permission to file a claim on their behalf. But what often occurs in these cases is that, through signing a very special form often referred to as an “Assignment of Benefits (AOB,)” they are signing away the right to control when, if, and amount of funds contractors will file claims to collect.

This can mean, when the trades person decides to withdraw funds from related insurer for doing the required work, he/she is free to do so – without asking the resident. Sadly, this is often done by dishonest outsider contractors – whether they perform well, terribly, or not at all. Furthermore, in the event homeowner signatures are required before funds are released, there are documented cases where signatures are forged, funds disbursed, and contractors - nowhere to be found.

These shenanigans transpire year after year primarily because we carelessly deal with contractors who are unknown in the neighborhood (taking into consideration insights 1. thru 5. above). Ultimately, it is we who must decide our approach to hiring only the best building tradesmen/women in 2021. In effect, we can seriously ask ourselves: “Will we make better hiring decisions this year? Are we determined to get better results?” - then take action. We owe it to our entire household.

*More on home insurance fraud in the free two-part homeowner’s guide:

“Our Home Policy in the Wrong Hands” [see Resource Box].

Comments always welcome.

Edited with special assistance from D. Madden

Public Courtesy – HGRBS – Since 2009

*HGRBS, is a national volunteer nonprofit which is an exclusive consumer information service. There is an emphasis on supporting self-empowerment among U.S. private home decision makers. Special focus is on sharing related information enabling residents to make safest and wisest decisions in resident-contractor relations.

*Home Insurance Fraud by Contractors [the story]

*Our Home Insurance Policy in the Wrong Hands (Two-Homeowner’s Guide):

“Better Decisions, Better Results”

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