Having marketable skills in construction and home improvement know-how can lead to a very good job as a homebuilder, but there can be some serious implications if you fail to register with the New Home Warranty Program in New Jersey. Without this registration, or conducting business with an expired registration, can lead to fines up to $2,000. It can be difficult to handle the legal aspects of your homebuilding career when you are working hard to create your customers’ dream homes. Staying on top of your registration and the different requirements you must follow for each separate project is very important to keep your career on track and your company from facing a fourth degree crime.
From keeping up-to-date on your registration to issuing a 10-year limited warranty to the homeowners, you have many things to do in addition to providing your customers with the actual work. A 10-year limited warranty must be written that outlines specifically what the builder takes responsibility for if there are any faults, defects, and issues. This warranty must be presented to the customer at the closing transaction. They need proof of the warranty to show to the town’s construction official in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
As a new homebuilder, you have additional responsibilities. Sometimes it can become overwhelming and you may slip up and forget something. Contact attorney Mark A. Schneider if you are in need of expert legal guidance, especially in drawing up a contract or warranty. As licensed new home builder himself, he has experience you need to assist you with the finer details of your required paperwork to ensure that nothing is left out. Call today at (609) 242-9337
Hiring a contractor to do a job for your home can be quite daunting, especially when you hire one you do not know. Thankfully New Jersey has some of the nation’s strongest consumer protection laws to safeguard homeowners: the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the New Jersey Home Improvement Act. Both require contractors and builders to annually register with the state Division of Consumer Affairs. Without registering, they will not be issued municipal construction permits, meaning that they not able to conduct business. Without this permit, contractors and builders are considered not capable to perform any improvements.
Before hiring a contractor or builder for your home projects, make sure they have this permit. This will help ensure the person you enlist is someone that has made the effort to be registered and received the proper permits. These requirements are not necessarily well known, and if this is your first time retaining someone to do work, you might not even know whether they are registered and permitted to do the work you want them to do. Thankfully, because of the strict consumer protection laws in the state, you are protected from a number of contractor or builder’s violations.
Even if your chosen workmen are registered and have the proper permits, there is still room for potential disputes. Constructing a contract between you and your builder can be very difficult, especially if you are not sure about what should be realistically manageable, acceptable, or if the contractor is over estimating. Seeking the assistance of an attorney experienced in creating contracts specifically for homeowners and contractors can help make the process easier. It would also be helpful in the event there is a problem during the completion of the project. Mark A. Schneider has experience as a new homebuilder, a real estate agent, and an attorney specializing in contracts between homeowners and contractors. Protect yourself and your home; call today at (609) 242-9337.
Guidelines for Home Improvement Contractors
Ever since Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey coastline, people and businesses have been struggling to rebuild the damage in its wake. To date it is the second costliest hurricane since 1900, with about fifty billion dollars in total damages and over 346,000 homes damaged in New Jersey alone. With so much left to repair, it’s opened a large need for handymen in the home improvement and new home builders industry. Problems with insurance payouts have exacerbated the issue. If you were part of the group caught up in this scenario, it might be tempting to accept an offer from any guy who says he can do what you need, cheap, just to get the job done. But is your contractor following proper guidelines? Did you know that all home improvement contractors in the State of New Jersey need a license to perform home repair work?
Unfortunately, home improvement fraud has become one of the most common types of consumer fraud. Due to the alarming amount of complaints about missed deadlines, shoddy workmanship, and even failure to complete projects, the State responded by enacting the Home Improvement Practices Act, along with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (the CFA). These laws set very stringent regulations for home improvement contracts. Under these protective statutes, contractors are required to annually register with the State Division of Consumer Affairs. Those who do not will not be issued municipal construction permits, meaning a contractor who does not go through this process is not qualified to complete home improvement work in New Jersey.
Statement of Work
Also, any home improvement work to be done in excess of $500 must be in writing and include these elements:
- The contractor’s name, address, and State registration number
- Description of the work to be done
- Total contract price to be paid
- Project start and end date
- Description of supplies to be used
- Statement of warranty or guarantee for any materials, products, labor, or services
- Description of security or mortgage interest in connection with the financing or sale of the home improvement
Your contractor also needs to provide you with a copy of his general liability insurance before you sign the contract. They also need to tell you, in writing, that you can cancel your signed contract for any reason before midnight on the third business day. Also be aware of what your contractor cannot do. They can not demand a final payment before the completion of work, or until the final municipal inspection has taken place. Make your contractor obtain all necessary construction permits before starting any work.
Complaint Against a Contractor
So what do you do if you have a complaint against your home improvement contractor? The easiest way is to try and resolve the issue directly with the contractor and give them the opportunity to correct the problem. In the event that doesn’t work, contact an attorney well-versed in construction law to assist you in resolving your dispute. According to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, any contractor violating the Act is required by law to pay three times your actual damages in addition to your attorney fees. So if a construction dispute does arise, call me, Mark A. Schneider, today for a free consultation at (609) 242-9337. In matters like these, you need an attorney with a proven track record of winning Consumer Fraud and Construction Negligence case.