Westchester County has nabbed 32 contractors for operating in the county without a license. “This effort by the Consumer Department is part of our continuing effort to protect consumers from being ripped off by ‘fly-by-night contractors,’” said County Executive Andy Spano. “Home improvements involve large sums of money. Continuing this type of enforcement protects consumers as well as contractors.”
He added, “While we are aggressively enforcing this law, the good news is most home improvement contractors do follow our law and have been licensed.”
During May and June, inspectors from the consumer department stopped 320 contractors, finding only 32 — or 10 percent — of the contractors unlicensed. Bumper stickers issued by the department and displayed by licensed contractors assist inspectors during the enforcement action. The sticker states that the person or company is licensed and when the license expires.
Contractors who operate in Westchester without a license must apply for a license and can be fined up to $1,000 for failing to have one.
Elaine Price, director of Consumer Protection, said, “We will continue to crackdown on unlicensed contractors throughout the county. The enforcement process is working – reflected in the fact that 90 percent of the contractors we found were licensed.” Previous enforcement actions found more than 20 percent unlicensed.
Some improvement tips including information about licensing can be found on the Consumer Protection website: www.westchestergov.com/consumer, or by calling 995-2211.
A full list of the approximately 6,000 licensed contractors is also available on this website. The website also has a list of “renegade renovators,” the list of contractors consumers should avoid.