City cautions against using unlicensed contractors

The City of Garden City is cautioning residents against the use of unlicensed contractors for home or business remodels and repairs, according to a news release.

According to Garden City staff, unlicensed contractors are often uninsured, meaning homeowners may end up paying for any injuries or damage to property. In addition, unlicensed contractors often lack professional training and certification, are unfamiliar with applicable building codes, and are not regulated by local authorities.

Neighborhood & Development Services Director Kaleb Kentner said it is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any project.

“Besides being illegal, unlicensed contractors lack accountability and have a high rate of involvement in construction scams, Kentner said. “They also are unfair competition for licensed contractors who operate with bonds, insurance, and other responsible business practices.”

City staff has developed the following tips for hiring a contractor:

  • Seek referrals
  • Solicit bids from at least three contractors
  • Be wary of bids that are significantly lower than others
  • Insist on a written contract
  • Have an attorney review any contracts before signing them
  • Make sure all building permits are acquired before the project begins
  • Inspect all work before signing a completion certificate
  • Withhold final payment until the entire project is completed and inspected

Report any problems to the City of Garden City Inspections Department at (620) 276-1120

The Neighborhood & Development Services Department has also offered the following list of red flags that may indicate a contractor is not licensed:

  • Unsolicited phone calls or visits
  • High-pressure sales pitches or scare tactics
  • Large down payments
  • No verifiable address or phone number
  • Unwillingness to give a price
  • Unwillingness to sign a written contract
  • Insurance or licensing information that you cannot verify

For a list of licensed contractors, please contact the Neighborhood & Development Services Department at (620) 276-1120 or stop by the City Administrative Center, 301 N. Eighth Street.