(DAYTON, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is taking a Montgomery County roofing contractor to court for allegedly cheating homeowners out of thousands of dollars. Customers said some of the rip-offs came in the wake of the 2019 Memorial Day storms.
“This guy deceived trusting clients who just needed a solid roof over their heads,” Yost said. “We’re going to court to get their money back and to hold him accountable.”
Brandon Valandingham, owner of Buckeye Storm Solutions LLC, is accused of performing shoddy work and failing to deliver promised services or refunds after accepting down payments from customers in southwest Ohio.
The lawsuit stems from seven consumer complaints submitted to Yost’s Consumer Protection Section, blaming Valandingham for financial losses totaling $44,638. Five of the complaints say he never did any work after accepting money from customers. Three complaints involve property damage from the Memorial Day storms.
Yost said there are likely more victims and urged them to file consumer complaints with his office by calling 800-282-0515 or visiting OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
The state’s lawsuit, filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, alleges violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act. It seeks an order requiring Valandingham to reimburse affected customers and pay civil penalties, as well as court costs. It also requests an order preventing him from running a business in Ohio until those debts are paid.
Attorney General Yost reminds consumers to take the following steps before signing a contract for home improvement services:
- Check for any complaints against the contractor with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure your contract includes notice of your right to cancel a door-to-door sale. Contractors generally cannot start working until the three-day “cooling-off” period ends.
- Get written estimates from several contractors before making a final decision.
- Check to make sure that the written contract includes any verbal promises, the start and end dates, and an itemized list of all significant costs, labor and services.
- Be wary if the contract requires a large down payment or requires that you write a check directly to the contractor instead of his or her company.
- Check with the Ohio Secretary of State to confirm that the business is registered properly.