Today I introduced an ordinance to help prevent instances of contractor fraud in the city. This matter came about after hearing from several residents who have been swindled into paying for work that is then never completed. Often times deceitful contractors prey on our elderly and most vulnerable populations, whose lives become overwrought both financially and emotionally by these deceptive practices.
The ordinance would require contractors applying for building permits to include on a signed affidavit a list of all currently open permits, their corresponding addresses, status of project, and expected completion date. I believe that this ordinance proposes a fair mechanism for holding contractors accountable without punishing those who conduct honest business in the city.
By requiring contractors to list the status of all open permits, the city will be better able to monitor construction projects, as currently there are no expiration dates or deadlines to complete the work.
Contractor scams are difficult to combat, and it is essential that property-owners take steps to ensure they are hiring only those contractors who have a proven record of being trustworthy and reliable. Nevertheless, I believe this ordinance will improve transparency and accountability of construction work in the city and allow government to do its part in reducing harmful fraud in our community.
This docket was referred to the Committee on Government Operations and will be discussed at a hearing in the coming months. If you have been a victim of contractor scams or would like to voice your opinion on this matter, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Robyn Casper at 617-635-4205 or Robyn.Casper@boston.gov.