One in three home contractors flunk background checks
I found out the hard way that not finishing on time or making a mess is not the only crime you have to worry about with a home contractor. I had the unfortunately experience of hiring a handyman who came back a few days after he finished a painting job to burglarize my house, making off with about $40,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables.
So I was not surprised when I read that when home services app SERVIZ put applicants through a pre-employment background check, they discovered that as many as a third of home contractors had prior criminal records.
Concerned at these numbers, SERVIZ then researched and assembled its groundbreaking new Home Safety Rankings (HSR) Index for over 100 metropolitan areas across the U.S. It’s a comprehensive look at statistics and findings on home safety across the U.S., with participation from the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and other national organizations.
The list ranked cities according to highly specific home safety and crime statistics, and the results included more than a few surprises, with cities in the Los Angeles, Dallas and San Diego metro areas appearing in the top 10 safest, and with multiple cities in the Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver and other metro areas also falling in the bottom 10 as the least safe.
In addition to the nationwide rankings on 108 cities, the HSR examined the home safety habits and concerns of residents through city page infographics. The study shows homeowners vital facts about their city’s potential safety and offers important statistics and tips, with insights on such cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, New York, Washington D.C., Denver, and Austin.
The study found that Los Angeles’s Home Safety Score was C+, San Diego scored a B-, New York scored a B, and Washington D.C. scored an F. New York ranked 27 (100 is safest) on the Crime Index, with 40,599 annual crimes, while Los Angeles ranked 19, with 121,241 annual crimes. Washington ranked 3 on the Crime Index, with 39,966 annual crimes.
Shockingly, a person’s chance of becoming a victim of a crime is 1 in 33 in L.A., 1 in 41 in New York, 1 in 17 in Washington D.C., 1 in 39 in San Diego, and 1 in 35 across the U.S. (Average). What is even more concerning is that people nationwide are actually unsuspectingly letting criminals into their homes.
SERVIZ found that home service pros failed SERVIZ background checks a rates as high as one in nine in Los Angeles, with as many as 1 in 6 carpet cleaners failing checks. One in six handymen in New York and San Diego failed criminal background checks, and one in four home repair pros failed background checks in Washington D.C.
The statistics may be frightening, but much less terrifying than coming home to a broken window screen and all your jewelry gone and your home ransacked, like mine was, so be smart, and only hire through a verified service that does a thorough criminal background check.