Both houses of the New York Legislature have passed a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, to crack down on so-called storm chasers who promise roof repair but perform substandard work or none at all.
The measure would require a roofing contractor to enter into a written contract before work can begin, prohibit contractors from advertising or promising to pay or rebate any or all of an insurance deductible, and bar contractors from failing to perform work without justification and requiring a deposit, according to Buttenschon.
Homeowners could also cancel a contract within three days after their insurance provider notifies them that the claim for the work has been denied.
The bill further stipulates that homeowners are not responsible for payments after the contract has been cancelled except when the work was initiated by the owner
for an emergency repair.
Other provisions say a contractor cannot fail to pay for materials and services when the contractor has received payment for them, and bar a roofing contractor from performing any reporting, adjusting or negotiating a claim for the owner, nor can the contractor be compensated for a referral to someone doing such claim services.
Another sets minimum insurance requirements for roofing contractors, including workers’ compensation
The bill awaits the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Scammers often target elderly homeowners who have paid off their mortgages, Buttenschon noted.
“Dealing with property damage after a storm is already extremely stressful,” Buttenschon said. “Having to worry about ‘storm chasers’ who prey on property owners desperate to get their homes back together shouldn’t be an added headache.”