City Council Approves Post-Disaster Consumer Protection Measures
When disasters strike, such as the Dec. 26 tornado, storm victims sometimes fall prey to fraudulent contractors and price gouging.
During their Jan. 5 meeting, the Garland City Council amended City Codes to require building permits for residential roof repair of more than $2,000 and establishing registration and bonding requirements for residential roofing contractors. These amendments are intended to provide additional consumer protection from fraudulent contractors.
The City of Garland has established a mobile permitting center in the damage zone, located Bobtown Road at Kelso Lane. The center will begin operation on Thursday, Jan. 6 and will operate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. This convenient service will allow those trying to rebuild to confirm their contractor is registered and to obtain necessary building permits.
“We want to make the rebuilding process as simple as possible for these folks,” said Garland Building Official Jim Olk. “We know that most contractors are honest and value their good reputations, but this service will also help us weed out unscrupulous fly-by-night operators and protect our citizens.”
City Council also adopted an ordinance prohibiting price gouging during the current state of disaster in Garland. The ordinance prohibits such activity surrounding pricing for such items as groceries, construction materials and services, automotive repairs, rent for hotels or other temporary housing, medical supplies and other essential goods and services.
The City has received complaints of price gouging in the general area of the tornado damage. Individuals who have been victimized by price-gouging may contact the City Attorney’s Office at 972-205-2380 to file a complaint. Although the City cannot recover damages on behalf of victims, we can investigate and prosecute price gougers.
For more information related to recovery from the Dec. 26 tornado, visit GarlandTx.gov and click on “Tornado Information.”