Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act Takes Effect July 1
June 23, 2009
The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, which was adopted
by Pennsylvania's General Assembly last October, will take effect
July 1, 2009. The law requires that all contractors who perform
$5,000 or more in home improvements annually register with the Attorney
General's Office. Included are those who perform home improvements,
installations or replacements of a variety of services including
doors and windows, solar energy systems, as well as many others.
Registration requires that contractors maintain minimum insurance
coverage and use contracts containing important information about
home projects, including the start date and completion date, a description
of work being performed and consumers' rights under the law. The
registration is valid for two years and costs $50.
According to Pennsylvania attorney general Tom Corbett, the law
is intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors,
provide new protection for consumers who hire home improvement contractors
and authorize criminal penalties for home improvement fraud.
Door and window companies in Pennsylvania say this new regulation
is good news for the state's home improvement market.
"We are thrilled that the Attorney General's Office is requiring
contractors/dealers to register with the state if they want to do
business here after July 1," said Alan Levin, president and
chief executive office, of Northeast Building Products located in
Philadelphia. "We are encouraged to know that people wishing
to do home improvement work and or repair in our state, are now
required to provide information, such as proper insurance, and their
drivers licenses. This will help to reduce the chances of fraud
that has become Pennsylvania's number one complaint with the Attorney
General's Office, surpassing automobile fraud. This we are not proud
of. Anything that gets done to help maintain the credibility of
our industry is a positive one."
Tyson Schwartz, vice president of sales and marketing for Gorell
Windows and Doors in Indiana, Pa., has a similar view.
"This new act, which is meant to protect homeowners from unscrupulous
contractors does put the professional and honest remodeling dealers/contractors
on a much better playing field. Remodelers will have to have a more
open book policy with homeowners in regard to insurance, any past
legal issues, any past licensing issues, etc.," says Schwartz.
"The Pennsylvania remodeling dealers will quickly adjust to
the act, and homeowners will have the benefit of knowing the remodeling
industry will be a much more professional and open book industry."
HERE to register online.
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