BATON ROUGE, LA – After natural disasters, unlicensed contractors and bad actors often come into the affected areas offering lots of promises and quick repairs. Attorney General Jeff Landry wants families and businesses to beware of a so-called “mold certificate.”
“It is important for consumers to understand that there is no such thing as a government-required ‘mold-free’ certificate,” said General Landry. “Such a certificate is not required by any federal, state, or local office.”
General Landry urges those affected by the recent flood to only hire contractors with the necessary skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do mold remediation work. He notes that a mold remediation specialist must hold a special license in Louisiana.
General Landry also offers the following tips to protect consumers and their wallets:
• Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
• Get at least three itemized and detailed bids.
• Take a selfie with your contractor and photograph his/her vehicle and its license plate.
• Require the contractor to show proof of insurance, such as workman’s compensation and general liability, and call that insurer to confirm coverage.
• Always get a guarantee and a contract in writing.
• Pay by check or money order and keep all receipts.
General Landry said homeowners are permitted to perform their own mold remediation work without any license, but special guidelines and steps for mold removal and prevention should be followed. Visit www.lsuagcenter.com for more information.
Suspected fraud should be reported to your local law enforcement and the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.