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Unlicensed Landscaper Soliciting Business in Yakima

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You may have received a business card stuck in your door frame or slid underneath your doormat from a Jesus DeLeon advertising his landscaping business. The Better Business Bureau received confirmation from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries that he and his business aren’t licensed for landscaping work in Washington state.

One witness to this landscaping company said they were wearing uniforms that looked like other well-known landscaping companies. This was probably in an effort to look official.

The Better Business Bureau provide these tips in what to ask for and look for in a landscaping professional

1. Ask how long the company has been in business, what kind of work experience and training the crew has, and if the contractor is willing to stand behind the work and service provided. Question what procedures are in place to handle problems if they should arise.

2. Ask for copies of licensing, if required, and insurance certificates for workers’ compensation and liability. If the company is not properly insured, you could be liable for any accidents that occur on your property.

3. Ask for references and visit the site of the job to see the finished result. Also visit a job in progress so you can examine the crew’s appearance and the quality of workmanship.

4. Get the contractor’s cell phone number and home number in case of an emergency, and beware of contractors who are repeatedly difficult to reach.

5. Ask if the contractor will enlist licensed electricians and plumbers for jobs such as irrigation pump installation, which may necessitate special hook-ups. Ask if the contractor will hire the subcontractors, and if he or she will be on hand to direct the work.

6. Ask about the company’s experience with and use of pesticides.

7. Ask how much of a down payment is required. If the requested down payment is more than 50%, you may want to proceed with caution.

8. Ask the company for a written contract. This contract should include an outline of all the work you want done. For example, you should know when the work should start and end, the total costs, the materials used (including the depth of rock, heights of walls, etc.), and when and what work the company will do if you want them to continue the upkeep. Before signing, read over the contract a nd make sure any warranties or guarantees are clearly outlined, and that you understand all of the information.

9. Ask for instructions on how to maintain and care for the landscaping if you wish to do the work yourself. If you have any questions, call the landscaper before you begin. If you fail to maintain the yard and garden work properly, the landscaper may not be able to fix the damage and may not be liable for the damages.

10. Check out the company and business owner with the Better Business Bureau to see complaint history, customer reviews, and other background information.

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