With landlords increasingly using renovation to generate fast capital gains, Consumer Affairs Victoria has revealed several regions where consumers are being ripped off by contractors and tradespeople.
According to the warning, Whittlesea locals contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria 56 times regarding contractor delays and failure to complete work in 2013.
Whittlesea was closely followed by Brimbank and Casey, with 53 and 49 reports coming in from those residents respectively.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Claire Noone warned homeowners to protect themselves by choosing the right company or person for a project.
"It's very important that you do your homework when choosing a handyman, tradesperson or builder for any job.
"It will undoubtedly save you time, money and heartache in the long run," Ms Noone said.
When choosing a contractor, Consumer Affairs suggests to get at least three quotes on the same detailed description of the work you want done.
They also suggest researching the company’s reputation by doing an online search and independently confirming business details and contacting referees personally.
Dr Noone said consumers need to ensure all contractors hold the correct licence and have a written contract for all work – even small jobs – that clearly specifies the work and total cost.