With warmer weather upon us, there tends to be an increase in home improvement fraud scams. Scams involving driveway improvements seem to be the most common. This includes white rocking, paving, sealing and chip and sealing.
The common method of operation in these scams involves the workers going door to door, soliciting business. The workers may offer a great deal to make improvements to your driveway, many times with leftover materials from a previous job. As with anything else if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. They will either confuse the victim on the agreed price or not mention it until the work is completed.
The work is commonly overpriced and poorly done. The common denominator with many of these suspects is that the vehicles are not marked with their business names and contact information.
Indiana has “HICA”, which is Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act (IC 24-5-11-10). This requires the following:
The home improvement supplier shall provide a completed home improvement contract to the consumer before it is signed by the consumer.
The contract must contain at a minimum the following:
The name of the consumer and the address of the residential property that is the subject of the home improvement.
The name and address of the home improvement supplier and each of the telephone numbers and names of any agent to whom consumer problems and inquiries can be directed.
The date the home improvement contract was submitted to the consumer and any time limitation on the consumer's acceptance of the home improvement contract.
A reasonably detailed description of the proposed home improvements.
If the description required by subdivision does not include the specifications for the home improvement, a statement that the specifications will be provided to the consumer before commencing any work and that the home improvement contract is subject to the consumer's separate written and dated approval of the specifications.
The approximate starting and completion dates of the home improvements.
A statement of any contingencies that would materially change the approximate completion date.
The home improvement contract price.
The home improvement contract must be in a form that each consumer who is a party to it can reasonably read and understand.