MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has new details about a local contractor with a history of problems.
NewsChannel 3 recently aired a story about a complaint against DLC construction.
A woman says she paid for work that was never finished.
After our story aired, another customer called with a similar story.
As first time home buyers, Jeffery Gooch says he and his wife Jocelyn had big plans for their new house.
“I was thinking about, you know, having barbecues and having family members over,” he said.
Because they were first time home buyers, the Gooches received funding for the renovations through the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America or NACA.
It’s a non-profit focusing on home ownership.
Gooch says they found a NACA referred contractor, Dardanius Coleman of DLC Construction, and signed a deal for the work in February of 2017.
According to the contract, Coleman would add a room with a half bath.
In addition, Gooch said, “He was going to put a patio outside as well as put a fence around our property.”
Except more than a year later, a job that was supposed to take one month is nowhere near finished.
“His intention was not to get finished. His intention was to get as much money as he could from us and just leave,” despite getting paid, Gooch said.
“We gave him $11,000 out of our escrow account through NACA, and I paid him $1200 out of my pocket.”
Gooch reached out to WREG after seeing that other story about customer complaints against Coleman.
However, after digging into Coleman’s background, WREG learned, he doesn’t even have the license required to have done the work on the Gooch home.
While he does have a local license, Coleman does not have a home improvement license which is required in Shelby County for any job over three-thousand-dollars.
Furthermore, within the past year, the state has sent Coleman two warning letters for unlicensed work.
Gooch had no idea Coleman didn’t have a license, but says they terminated their agreement last year after they discovered he wasn’t taking out permits for the project.
“We told him if he can`t pull the permits, he can’t do any work.”
What’s worse, Gooch says, is they’re stuck.
They want to finish the renovations but, it turns out, Coleman filed a lien against their property claiming they didn’t finish paying him.
A lien like this makes it tough to get another contractor to start the job.
“And the sad thing about it is, we didn’t know that he put a lien on our property until a couple of weeks ago,” Gooch said.
WREG reached out to Coleman, a man who has a long list of lawsuits filed against him and has even been convicted of theft of property and passing bad checks.
Coleman told NewsChannel 3 the Gooches terminated the contract. He also reiterated he had a license and encouraged us to speak with Code Enforcement.
Coleman couldn’t explain why he did the work without permits or a state license.
As for Gooch, he wants to finish that man cave, and get his wife that patio he promised.
“I want him to take that lien off my property because he knows like I know that he got paid more than enough money. I want him to be held accountable for what he did.”
Anyone considering renovations on their home can visit verify.tn.gov to determine if the person/company has the proper licensing.
In Shelby County, work from $3,000 to $24,000 requires a home improvement license and work $25,000 and above requires a contractors license.
There are also license requirements for electricians, plumbers and those doing HVAC work.