Larimer County officials warn flood survivors to be wary of scams

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Larimer County officials are warning homeowners to be wary of possible scams targeting flood survivors. Larimer County Chief Building Official Eric Fried has heard from several flood survivors who were approached by people offering demolition services or utility call-backs who provided inaccurate or misleading information about their property’s flood status.

“People have told us they were notified their home is on a list to be demolished,” said Fried. “There is no such list. Some homes were destroyed, and others may ultimately need to be removed if they are substantially damaged in the floodplain, but we have set no deadlines nor issued any demolition orders.”

“There may be rumors or false information that may be deliberately being spread,” Fried continued, “Instead of listening to that, please call us directly and find out what you need to know about rebuilding after the flood. Be cautious about offering any financial or personal information to persons you do not know. Anyone approached by an unfamiliar business or individual concerning demolition, repair, rebuilding, restart of utilities, or similar issues is urged to contact the Larimer County Building office to check out the status of their property at 970-498-7699.”

Last week Larimer County inspectors re-evaluated dozens of buildings originally declared substantially damaged, and many will be re-assessed as legally rebuildable. Owners of buildings still considered substantially damaged can contest the designation with more detailed information from licensed appraisers, registered engineers and county-licensed contractors.

County building permits are required for structural repairs, plumbing and mechanical work, and for replacing siding and roofing material. A state permit is required for electrical work. Only homeowners working on their own home, or licensed contractors, can obtain the required permits.

“If someone tells you they can do the job cheaper, they do not need a permit, or they are not licensed, those should be red flags to you,” said Fried. “Unlicensed contractors may not have insurance or be qualified to do the job properly. We license contractors to protect homeowners, who are especially vulnerable in the wake of natural disasters like the recent flood.”

If you become aware of suspicious activity you can report it to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985.