Attorney General of NC Files Lawsuit Against Charlotte Contractors for Alleged Homeowner Fraud

Attorney General of NC Files Lawsuit Against Charlotte Contractors for Alleged Homeowner Fraud

Attorney General of NC Files Lawsuit Against Charlotte Contractors for Alleged Homeowner Fraud

Raleigh, NC (March 4, 2024): North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit today against Canary General Contracting and Design, a Charlotte-based company, accusing them of deceiving and defrauding homeowners in the city. The lawsuit alleges that Canary, operating without a valid contractor’s license, engaged in a pattern of predatory business practices that left numerous homeowners with unfinished or shoddy renovation projects, causing significant financial and emotional distress.

“People invest a lot of time and money in their homes,” said Attorney General Stein in a press release. “We allege that Canary took people’s money and then left major home renovation projects unfinished or finished them so poorly they had to be redone. I’ll hold accountable companies that deceive them.”

The lawsuit, filed by the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice (NCDOJ), details a string of alleged wrongdoings by Canary. The company is accused of:

  • Operating without a license: A crucial element for any general contractor, a valid license ensures adherence to industry standards and consumer protection regulations. The lawsuit claims Canary lacked the necessary licensing, putting homeowners at risk.
  • Taking advance payments for unfinished work: Canary allegedly collected upfront payments from homeowners but failed to complete the agreed-upon renovations. This left homeowners financially strapped and forced to seek alternative contractors to finish the job.
  • Substandard work and safety violations: The lawsuit further alleges that in cases where Canary did complete projects, the work quality was demonstrably poor. This included work that didn’t meet building codes, posed safety hazards, and deviated significantly from the agreed-upon plans.
  • Failure to obtain permits: Securing building permits is a vital step in any renovation project. The lawsuit claims Canary often neglected to obtain necessary permits, leaving homeowners liable for potential fines and delays.

The NCDOJ’s Consumer Protection Division reportedly received over 15 complaints against Canary, with affected homeowners collectively reporting financial losses exceeding $250,000. These complaints paint a grim picture of the impact Canary’s alleged actions have had.

“We started renovations on our kitchen in June,” shared Sarah Miller, a Charlotte resident named in the lawsuit. “Canary took most of the payment upfront, but after a month, the work stalled. They kept promising to resume, but weeks turned into months. Eventually, we had to hire another contractor to fix their mess and complete the project, which cost us a significant amount extra.”

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against Canary from engaging in further deceptive business practices. It also demands financial restitution for affected homeowners, including compensation for any unfinished work, repairs necessitated by poor workmanship, and additional costs incurred due to Canary’s alleged misconduct.

Importance of Consumer Protection and Hiring Licensed Contractors

Attorney General Stein’s action against Canary underscores the importance of consumer protection in the home improvement industry. Homeowners invest heavily in renovations, and unscrupulous contractors can exploit their trust and inflict substantial financial and emotional damage.

  • Verify contractor licensing: Always check a contractor’s license status with the North Carolina Board of Examiners of Licensing and Regulation
  • Get multiple quotes: Compare quotes from several licensed contractors before making a decision.
  • Review contracts thoroughly: Ensure the contract clearly outlines the project scope, timeline, payment schedule, and warranty details.
  • Never pay in full upfront: Agree on a reasonable payment schedule tied to project milestones.
  • Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics: Reputable contractors won’t pressure you into making hasty decisions.

By following these steps, homeowners can protect themselves from falling victim to predatory contractors and ensure their renovation projects are completed with quality and integrity.

Canary Yet to Respond to AllegationsAttorney General of NC Files Lawsuit Against Charlotte Contractors for Alleged Homeowner Fraud

Efforts to reach Canary General Contracting and Design for comment on the lawsuit were unsuccessful at the time of publication. The company’s website appears to be inactive, and calls to their listed phone number went unanswered.

The NCDOJ is committed to protecting consumers from deceptive business practices. This lawsuit sends a clear message that contractors operating outside the law and preying on homeowners will be held accountable. The legal process will determine the extent of Canary’s alleged misconduct and the ultimate consequences for the company.

27 thoughts on “Attorney General of NC Files Lawsuit Against Charlotte Contractors for Alleged Homeowner Fraud

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