Unlike many other states across the nation, Texas has very few protections for citizens who fall victim to roofing fraud. When alleged roofing professionals show up after a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, many homeowners think their needs are being satisfied. As it turns out, they could be targeted by fraudulent roofers looking to take advantage of an already dire situation. According to CBS News, “Texans lose tens of thousands of dollars a year at the hands of fraudulent roofers.”
Lack of Oversight Leads to More Fraud
You can ask any roofing lawyer in Texas, but the answer will remain the same: Texas has no statewide licensing requirements for roofing professionals. Anyone posing as a legitimate roofing contractor can provide roofing services to unsuspecting property owners. This is especially prevalent in the wake of a storm since many people are rushing to patch up their residential and commercial property in an attempt to keep their lives on the rails. So, how exactly does this happen?
Karen Fox, executive director of the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) told Hometown Roofing Contractors, “Within 12 hours of a storm, an area can be blanketed with roofers, many from other states. After making contact with the homeowner and offering a lower price, they ask for a down payment and say they will come back after buying the shingles. Then, they never come back.”
Finding Solutions to Roofing Fraud in Texas
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT) is spearheading the Safe Roofs Over Texas initiative to spread awareness of the state’s unique problem with roofing fraud. Under the belief that regulation is critical to establishing accountability and eliminating roofing fraud, RCAT is requesting that the State of Texas employ a bill requiring all roofing contractors to supply proof of name and address before partaking in any roofing projects. With this information recorded, the state could develop a database for property owners to learn more about the contractors they are employing.
The benefit would be twofold. First, it would provide consumers with a better way to perform due diligence on a contractor they are thinking about hiring. Second, it would create a database of “recognized” contractors, which would incentivize all legitimate contractors to join.
Roofing contractors in Texas must do everything in their power to avoid roofing fraud, which starts with never committing to a job you can’t handle, purchasing general liability insurance, and acquiring any necessary bonds. If you want to ensure that your contracting business is primed for success, consult a roofing attorney in Texas.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.