City of Calgary reminds Calgarians to source licensed contractors for insurance claims and property repairs
In the aftermath of the devastating hailstorm, The City of Calgary is reminding Calgarians of the importance of recognizing licensed businesses when sourcing general contractors for repairs and insurance claims.
Communities affected by damage resulting from the storm are seeing an increase in door-to-door sales approaches by contractor services.
“If a sales person or contractor comes to your door, it is good practise to closely scrutinize their identification tag for authenticity and to get a name,” says Acting Chief Business Licence Inspector Michael Briegel. “Never feel pressured to make a quick decision or sign a contract because the sales person is at your door, and do not offer any upfront payment before services are rendered,” he says. “It only takes a few minutes to do your diligence.”
Calgary Community Standard’s Business Licence division wants to remind citizens that when choosing a contractor, they should take the following steps:
- Ensure that the contractor holds a valid City of Calgary Business Licence by phoning 311 or using the Calgary.ca database tool to search the list of licensed trade contractors.
- Ask for detailed estimates from multiple contractors and when a decision has been made, ask them to provide a comprehensive, written contract that includes both project and business details.
- Ask for references for potential contractors.
- Verify that your contractor carries liability insurance.
- After the work is complete, verify that there are no builder’s liens registered to your land title. A builder’s lien is a legal notice filed by unpaid suppliers or subcontractors for materials or work on your property.
“For their safety and well-being, we are asking Calgarians to make sure they are sourcing services from licensed contractors, and therefore regulated businesses. Legitimate businesses will have any necessary permits and a licence number available when asked,” added Briegel.
Fraud prevention begins with fraud awareness. Calgarians should make sure a company is licensed before entering into a contract. Businesses licensed by The City of Calgary have had their qualifications validated and meet the necessary regulations and standards to operate in Calgary. There are more than 10,000 licensed contractors in the city who provide excellent services for Calgarians.
Calgarians can call 311 to check if a company is licensed and ensure the validity of a contractor’s business, or to report licencing concerns.