The drought provides a new angle for illegal contractors to fleece the unwary.
“We’re starting to find unlicensed contractors out there kind of preying on people’s hopes to be able to have a nice yard but also being able to save water at the same time," says Rick Lopes, with California’s Contractors State License Board or CSLB, one of the state’s leading consumer protection agencies.
Earlier this month, the board conducted a sting operation in the Sacramento area and caught 11 people engaged in illegal contracting.
Lopes says hiring an unlicensed contractor is just a bad idea.
“There’s a good chance that they’re going to try to come in and lowball a bid to try to get the job and to get you to make a big down payment," he says.
Lopes says unlicensed contractors are also typically not covered by worker’s compensation insurance. That means if a worker gets hurt on your job, you may get stuck with the medical bills.
Lopes says before you hire a contractor make sure the business has a current state-issued license and check with the CSLB's website first.
High school football concussions, tax relief on home loan modifications, and homeowners association watering requirements – all subjects of bills signed Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
California has approved tough new water restrictions, but how they’ll be enforced depends on where you live.
Many people living in small Central Valley communities in California are watching their wells run dry. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more federal aid to help those hurt by the drought.
AP - U.S. Agriculture Secretary announced drought aid to help rural Californians.
Conserving water might have a negative financial affect on some California water agencies.