Neighbors warn: Be careful where you find summer's hired hands - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Neighbors warn: Be careful where you find summer's hired hands

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As you're getting your yard ready for the summer months, be careful where you find your hired hands. It's a busy time of year for landscapers, so one Moorhead man looking to prepare his yard for sod decided to post an ad to craigslist.

He got a response, but now he and other neighbors are left with what they're afraid was fraud. Valley News Team's Mellaney Moore went to the neighborhood today to find out what happened a few days ago and what they're going to do next.

When first-time home owner Miranda Murray saw work being done on her neighbor's yard, she saw an opportunity.

"We asked him for a price quote and the first thing I wanted to get done at the house I wanted to get the irrigation system done," says Murray.

Murray paid $2,800 to the man her neighbor found on Craigslist, but feels his work leaves much to be desired.

"I wanted the whole property irrigated since we're going to be doing the whole property with grass and stuff. He said that's the only one that works, the other ones, they don't even come out of the ground. You have to actually physically pull them up," she says.

Now Murray's afraid it was a scam and he won't be back. We tried calling the man who says he's been working in landscaping for years and has a contractor's license, but he wouldn't tell us the name of his business.

 "I'm not going to give you that information so that you can use it to tarnish my name...'cause that seems what you're trying to do," he says. 

He says he intends to return to the properties in a few days to finish the work. Experts say to look for a reputable business when seeking a landscaper- someone with a contractor's license or even a certified landscape professional.

"They've actually taken a recognized test that talks about plant material, dirt work, grating, some irrigation," says S&S Landscaping Project Manager Dave Liquin.

Murray says she hopes he returns to finish the job properly, but warns others about finding workers on Craigslist.

"Some things just really aren't OK for it because obviously the situation that we're in right now is...you know...what it is," says Murray.

Experts say all contractors in Minnesota and North Dakota have a contractor's license. They say you can ask to see that license if you're having work done or they suggest looking up the contractor online.

 We have that link under the hot button on the main page.

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