Tips on how to avoid price gougers and scammers when getting your yard cleaned up

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, center, speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many people are getting in touch with contractors to remove trees and limbs from their yards. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a number of tips so residents can protect themselves from scammers and price gougers.

“New Yorkers should take caution when seeking repairs in the aftermath of damaging wind storms,” Schneiderman said. “Unfortunately, scammers are more likely to prey on unsuspecting consumers during major weather events. I urge New Yorkers to report any potential price gouging or scams to my office.”

Here are those tips:

  • Shop around. Get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the materials and services to be provided for the job.
  • Get it in writing. Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed.
  • Don’t pay unreasonable advance sums. Negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of specific stages of the job. Never pay the full price up front.
  • Get references. Check with the Better Business Bureau, banks, suppliers, and neighbors. Always contact references provided to you.
  • Know your rights. You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home improvements. All cancellations must be in writing.

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