Mississippi: Avoid hiring unlicensed contractors

Marcia Doyle Headshot

The Mississippi State Board of Contractors is warning consumers about the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors following a disaster. Unscrupulous, unlicensed contractors often prey on victims of natural disasters. Consumers can protect themselves by using MSBOC’s resources to check a contractor’s license status and history.

Don’t let a natural disaster result in a man-made one by hiring the first contractor who comes along. Take your time and protect yourself against con artists who will take your money and run – or incompetent contractors who will perform shoddy work. Hire only licensed contractors and check their qualifications with the Board.

The MSBOC urges consumers to follow these tips when dealing with a building contractor:

·Hire only licensed contractors and ask to see the license.

·Verify the contractor’s license by checking on-line at www.msboc.us

·Don’t rush into decisions and don’t hire the first contractor who comes along.

·Don’t pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000 — whichever is less.

·Don’t pay cash, and don’t let the payments get ahead of the work.

·Get three bids, check references, and get a written contract.

·Contact the MSBOC if you have a complaint against a contractor.

In addition, the board reminds contractors that they must hold a valid Mississippi contractor’s license, in the appropriate classification, in order to perform most work on homes and other structures damaged or destroyed in natural disasters.