In an attempt to catch dishonest contractors and put an end to their fraudulent actions, Pennsylvania has enacted the Home Improvement consumer protection act. On 1 July 2009, the Law requires that all contractors who perform $ 5,000 or more in home improvements per year register with the Attorney General’s office. Registered contractors must now make at least $ 50,000 of personal injury liability coverage and $ 50,000 for property damage coverage.
Registration with the attorney general only costs $ 51, but the new law also affects remodelers in other ways. For example, on the basis of the new requirements of consumer protection laws, construction contracts in Pennsylvania must be longer and become more detailed. This has a negative side to the business as a 17-page contract can appear mighty intimidating to a homeowner. Additional agreement pages have been added to include additional and updated clauses in the Pennsylvania law. For example, until now, contractors were required to provide a single page, click the right button to exit clause in his contract. The new law identifies specific, click with the right mouse button to exit the language that should appear in 10-point bold type immediately above the signature line. The arbitration clause is not applicable if this right to terminate the warning is not displayed in 10-point boldtype.
The new law also requires a long list of information that must appear in every contract, for example, the start-and end-dates, names and addresses of subs, insurance coverage, and also a phone number for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer protection. Without this information, a construction contract, in Pennsylvania, is invalid. Worse still, if a home improvement contractor is not in compliance with the Home Improvement Protection Act, and a dispute arises, the property owner has the right to a refund from your times the actual damages, and attorneys ‘ fees.
home sweet Home entrepreneurs that are not in compliance with the law, must be willing to work for free should something go wrong, the owner will have over a barrel. And the fines are high: if the work is more than $ 2,000, a breach can be a third degree crime.
the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Protection Act may end up misleading remodeling clients who often choose their remodeling contractor based on the purchase price. Contractors who do not have insurance is likely to register with the state. These services will have less overhead and will look attractive to hunting owner as they can easily become the lowest bidder in many jobs of home improvement. Registered contractors are required to carry liability and property damage insurance increasing the overhead costs they have to add their proposal.
Pennsylvania is unique in its stringent owner requirements of the protection remodelers and service providers. For the contractor it means a new burden: he not only has to make at least $ 50,000 of personal injury liability coverage and $ 50,000 for property damage coverage, he now has the care of a potential customer, a 17-page contract which can be a deal breaker – even if this is required by Pennsylvania law. And with this agreement, he has to hire a lawyer who is well versed in the changes, in Pennsylvania, the law of contract. The new law made Pennsylvania lawyers very happy.
bill Grote has been a remodeler, painter, carpenter, property manager. He is currently working for the Craftsmen of the Companies that publish the construction contract Writer, a computer program that drafts of the construction contracts, with all requirements of the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Protection Act . You can download a working trial version (without printing):