If you have suffered property damage as a result of the recent Louisiana flooding, chances are you will need to hire a contractor to perform repairs to your home or business. There are many qualified, legitimate contractors in South Louisiana who can perform the work you need. Unfortunately, large-scale disasters also attract less scrupulous workers who may not be qualified, may lack the resources to complete the job, or may even be outright scam artists.

Thankfully, there are resources to assist property owners with the process of hiring a contractor. In our state, the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors is the government body tasked with regulating the construction industry and enforcing contractors’ rules and regulations. Their website contains a lot of helpful information. Before you begin the contractor selection process, be sure to visit:

http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/

To determine if a contractor is licensed, you can search the LSLBC’s database of all current contractors licensed in Louisiana:

http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/contractor-search/contractor- name/

The LSLBC also publishes a helpful brochure that contains simple advice to protect yourself when hiring someone to perform work on your property:

http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/app/uploads/brochur…

I echo everything that is contained in this brochure. Following those tips will significantly lessen your risk of being taken advantage of during this difficult time. It is especially important that you research the background of your potential contractor, insist that everything be in writing, refuse to make a large down payment that is out of the proportion to the initial work, and keep records of everything (bills, invoices, correspondence, photographs, etc.) related to the work on your property.

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Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page.
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