DLLR Urges Homeowners to Use Licensed Contractors for Repairs Caused By Flooding


Baltimore, MD (10/1/10) - Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez urges homeowners to be careful when selecting a contractor to repair damage to their homes from the recent storms. Flooding and fallen trees can cause a wide variety of damage and homeowners need to make prompt repairs; however, to protect themselves and their properties, they need to be vigilant when hiring contractors.

"Too often, unlicensed contractors arrive after harsh conditions, such as this week's storm and flood, with offers to help when their true intent is to take advantage of people in distress," said Secretary Sanchez. "Often the first available or the cheapest contractor is not the best choice."

Homeowners who use licensed home improvement contractors are protected by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission's Guaranty Fund. This fund is administered to compensate homeowners who suffer economic damages at the hands of a licensed home improvement contractor. No coverage is provided to the homeowner if the contractor is unlicensed.

"Homeowners should remember the law requires contractors to hold a current license in order to perform home improvement, electrical, plumbing or heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) work," said Stanley J. Botts, DLLR's Commissioner of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

It is unlawful for any home improvement contractor, electrician, plumber, or HVACR contractor to work in Maryland without a license. Penalties include criminal fines or imprisonment. Consumers may contact DLLR's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing at 410.230.6001 to check the licensing status and complaint history of any contractor.

For more information on what to do if your home has sustained storm-related damage, visit the Maryland Insurance Administration website.