Thinking of hiring somebody to do much-needed repair work at your house?
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to do their homework before hiring a handyman.
CCSO offers these safety tips for hiring a handyman:
* Decide what specifically needs to be done and make a detailed list.
* Develop a list of handymen.
* Ask detailed questions about their skills and experience.
* Get references from previous customers.
* Get a written estimate of their work.
* Obtain the physical address and phone number of the person and verify the information before agreeing to have work done. Don’t do business with anyone who won’t provide this information.
* Get a contract for services they will perform, payment schedule and completion date.
* In Florida, a handyman is not required to have a professional license. But anyone doing electrical, plumbing, or air conditioning work is required to have a professional license. To confirm whether the person you are considering hiring to perform work is licensed in Florida go to www.myfloridalicense.com.
* Check their complaint history by contacting your Better Business Bureau, or by visiting http://www.800helpfla.com/, or by calling 1.800.HELP.FLA.
* Be wary of anyone requiring payment by wire transfer, money order or cash. Purchases made by credit card will usually allow the consumer to dispute the charges and therefore offers the most protection.
* Be wary of door-to-door solicitations. Reputable business people typically don’t solicit business this way.
* Know your rights as a consumer. The Federal Trade Commission offers comprehensive guides for consumers. Visit their website at www.ftc.gov/bcp.