Residents advised to be cautious when dealing with unsolicited contractors, post-Irma

City and county removing storm debris at no cost, for example, although flyers being distributed in city say otherwise

Workers collect storm debris in the city of Sarasota. Image from the city via Twitter on Sept. 21

City of Sarasota residents are being advised to be alert and cautious when hiring contractors following Hurricane Irma.

“Over the weekend, we received word that flyers are being placed on storm debris piles in neighborhoods advertising removal at ‘reasonable rates,’” Sarasota Public Works Director Doug Jeffcoat said in a news release. “The City of Sarasota is providing the storm debris removal service at no additional cost. Residents do not have to pay a private contractor for storm debris removal.”

Before hiring a contractor for any work, residents are advised to follow certain tips, the release points out:

Residents also should be aware of the following types of solicitors seeking work, the release notes:

  • Anyone going door-to-door in an unmarked vehicle.
  • Any person offering an unusually low fee.
  • Anyone refusing to provide a written estimate.
  • Anyone requiring payment prior to starting the work.
  • Anyone requiring a resident to secure permits for the work; that is a responsibility a contractor typically takes on before beginning a project.
  • Any person asking for a signed work authorization prior to a homeowner’s hiring of the company.

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation or call the Customer Contact Center: 850-487-1395.