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Consumer

3 On Your Side: Roof Repair Deposit Return

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -For months, when it rained, it poured into Barbara Davila’s kitchen, bedroom and other parts of her house. The multiple leaks were due to roof damage related to Hurricane Irene.

Right before Christmas, Barbara settled on a contractor to do the repairs, and paid him a deposit of just under $3,000.

“I handed him the check and he says, ‘Well, you know it’s the holiday’s. We’ll start the second week of January because my guys are off,’” said Barbara.

But January came and went and nothing was done. According to Barbara, “He came back and said, ‘Oh, I was in a car accident, I can’t do it now and I have to have surgery, so I have to outsource to somebody else.’”

The original contract was for $8,950 dollars. The new subcontractor wanted $12,950 to do the work, $4,000 more than what was originally agreed to, money her insurance company wasn’t willing to pay and her contractor wasn’t responding.

Barbara says, “I keep contacting him by email, text message, phone, he doesn’t return my call.” She adds, “I really want just a refund, cut my losses with him and move on with getting my house fixed.”

Barbara reached out to 3 On Your Side.

“My co-worker said, why don’t you contact CBS 3 On Your Side because I’ve seen that they’ve helped many people,” said Barbara.

Home improvement contracts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey must include the names of subcontractors. Barbara’s contract didn’t, which meant it was no longer binding. 3 On Your Side pointed that out and was able to get Barbara’s deposit back. So, she could move forward with another company and get a new roof, in the end, making it another 3 On Your Side problem solved.

Barbara says, “You guys helped me and I am so happy for that and grateful.”

As a reminder, before starting any home improvement job, be sure everything is clearly spelled out in a written contract. Pennsylvania and New Jersey home improvement contractors must be registered with the Attorney General’s office. To check out a contractor that you’re considering hiring, visit the links below:

Pennsylvania:
http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/hiccon.aspx?id=4502

New Jersey:
http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/