MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - As crews begin to survey damage across the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach city officials have some guidance for those who need to make repairs to their home or business.
A post to the city's Facebook page warns neighbors to not fall victim to contractor scams.
"Hurricanes bring out the best in most folks, but also may bring out scammers and criminals. Unless you know the contractor personally or a reliable source recommends them, be suspicious of all contractors who offer to help with storm damage," warn city officials.
Never pay a contractor up front or give them a large deposit, the post suggests. Ask for a contract that includes a payment schedule for any work needed.
"In South Carolina, a contractor must have a license issued by the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. This license lists what work they are qualified to perform," the post reads.
Contractors’ licenses can be verified online by SCLLR at www.llr.state.sc.us.
Always ask a contractor to see five documents…
1. SCLLR License – Write down the number and verify it.
2. Liability Insurance – Verify that it is current.
3. Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Verify that it is current.
4. Contractor’s local business license – Verify that it is valid.
5. Permits – Ask to see all permits issued by local jurisdiction for your repairs.
A reputable contractor will gladly provide all of these documents. If they cannot produce these documents, or if they are unwilling to provide any of these documents, proceed at your own risk.
If interested, contact your local Building Department to find out what types of permits will be required for repairs. Every jurisdiction has different permitting procedures and thresholds that must be met for permits. Also know that predatory contractors will try to convince you that permits and inspections are not required.
In the city limits of Myrtle Beach, contact the Construction Services Department at 843-918-1111.