LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A shady contractor can turn your home renovation dreams into home renovation nightmares.
The Nevada State Contractors Board has a fund set up to help victims of shoddy workmanship and abandoned jobs get back some of the money they’ve lost. On Thursday, they heard from some of those victims and awarded partial repayments totaling $400,000.
“You hire a contractor on your kitchen, on your bathroom. You give them a substantial amount of your life savings and then they are gone,” Noah Allison, Counsel for the Nevada State Contractors Board explained of the many homeowners who file claims and come before the board.
“I paid them over $120,000 and they never did any work, they never delivered my panels,” revealed Maureen Pechacek. Pechacek signed a contract for solar panels to be installed at her home paying half the cost upfront that was 18 months ago.
“The contractor skipped town. I think he has gone to a foreign country. He took many people’s deposits and did no work,” Pechacek explained.
Thursday, the Nevada State Contractors Board Residential Recovery Fund awarded Pechacek the max repayment for any homeowner: $40,000.
“It felt good. It felt good to be heard. It felt like somebody was on our side,” shared homeowner Adrienne Neal whose backyard has been left an absolute disaster for more than a year. Neal paid a contractor $34,000 and got back $13,500 from the program, money she thought she’d never see again.
“If you’re going to hire somebody, especially for big jobs, you hire somebody… who has a contractor’s license so that you can sleep better at night,” Neal advised other homeowners looking to improve their homes.
The recovery fund is set up by the board responsible for regulating electricians, roofers, carpenters, general builders, and other trades involved in construction. Though good contractors under state law must pay into the fund to make up for the bad, those like Steve Chesin, CEO and President of Carpets and More said it is worth it to help homeowners who have been cheated.
“I’m appalled that people representing a licensed contractor can actually do that,” Chesin contended.
Under a new law (AB39) that went into effect in October, any contractor who is doing residential construction is not allowed to ask for a deposit of more than ten percent of the contract value or $1,000, whichever is less unless they have special bonding. To avoid becoming a victim check reviews and get referrals.
In order to file a claim, you must be a Nevada homeowner and must have used a licensed contractor. The board meets every other month and usually reimburses about $100,000 in total during those meeting dispersed to the homeowners who appear before them.
At Thursday’s meeting two companies, “Made in the Shade,” and “Next Gen Kitchen and Bath,” were accused of taking large deposits for work that was never finished. Both have had their licenses revoked. FOX5 has found that both are permanently closed. Another local company called “Made in the Shade Patio & Barbecue” is not associated with the company involved in the complaints.
If you have been the victim of an unscrupulous contractor, you have up to four years from the completion of the job or two years after getting a judgment against the contractor to file for funds from the program.
You can file a claim on the Nevada State Contractors Board website or by contacting them directly. Here is a link: http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com/res_recovery.html
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