A hidden camera investigation revealed that the city of San Antonio is plagued with unlicensed contractors who often don’t show up, do show but perform work that’s not in code, and even leave customer’s lives in danger. According to WOAI-TV, a contractor must be licensed to work on all HVAC and electrical work, including tasks such as installing electrical outlets.
When unlicensed businesses are are hired, they often never intend to show up to perform the work, leaving homeowners with a bill for un-rendered services. In an effort to inform the public, the Texas Department of Housing allowed investigators to install hidden cameras throughout a home that supposedly needed work. Acting like the owners, the state employees had contractors show up for bids to run electricity, but none of the contractors who showed up hadn’t passed the state’s requirements to perform the jobs and did not carry insurance. The so-called contractors don’t carry insurance due to the cost, which amounts to about $150/month. Yet, it’s an important payment to protect homeowners.
The contractors caught in the business investigation were in violation of Texas law just by showing up to submit a bid. While not a criminal charge, it means that the fake contractors will be fined for lying.
Contractors in most states need to have a license number on their business cards and paperwork; in some states, it’s required to have an identification card with the license number clearly visible, and also drive vehicles that display license numbers.