NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R) Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe, has proposed a plan to allow Westchester residents to more easily access two county databases that monitor home improvement contractors. The proposal would allow consumers the ability to easily check both a contractor’s licensing status as well as if the contractor has any liens and or judgements against them, all on one webpage.
The department of consumer protection maintains a list of licensed contractors in the county and the Clerk’s office, also involved in contractor licensing, has a broad data base of legal documents including judgements and liens. By linking the Clerk’s online documents with the judgement and liens page available with the list of licensed contractors - homeowners can easily take the next step to determine if the contractor, who may be licensed in the county, has any judgments or liens outstanding against him or her that is a direct result of the business in being considered.
Legislator Marcotte, who chairs the Board of Legislators Budget and Appropriations Committee said, “On the average homeowners will spend about $3000.00 on home improvements every year and unfortunately a percentage of those home owners will probably get scammed by an unscrupulous contractor. The best advice for anyone considering a home improvement job, and considering the hiring of a contractor is, do your homework, ask for references, don't pay cash and get a written contract. Too often, and as we know, this is not the case and when someone can finally figure out that they have been scammed...it is too late.” Legislator Marcotte added, “I thank County Clerk Idoni for agreeing to this plan and for helping me give Westchester Homeowners another tool in protecting themselves against home improvement scams.”
County Clerk Tim Idoni said, “It is the goal of the County Clerk’s office to carefully maintain records and documents and make accessible as much information as possible for our residents. I have also put great emphasis on using new technology to empower our residents. Legislator Marcotte’s proposal to add the more comprehensive database on home improvement contractors to be viewed alongside the database of contractor license information will make our award-winning County Clerks Website even better.”
Legislator Marcotte’s proposal has been sent to the Board of Legislators’ Legislation Committee and Infrastructure Committee for review.