In 2008, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.  The law requires that all contractors who perform at least $5,000 worth of home improvements per year register with the Attorney General’s Office.

As of July 1, 2009, consumers in Pennsylvania are able to verify registration with the Attorney General’s office by visiting the List of Registered Contractors or by calling their toll-free hotline, 1-888-520-6680.  Their office encourages consumers to use registered contractors when deciding to invest in home improvements. Contractors with questions about the law can call, 717-772-2425.

 

 Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, 73 P.S. § 517.1, et seq.

§ 517.1. Short title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.

What is the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act?


The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (“HICPA”) was adopted by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly in October, 2008, and signed by the Governor as Act 132 of 2008.  The law establishes a mandatory registration program for contractors who offer or perform home improvements in Pennsylvania.  The statute also establishes minimum insurance requirements for contractors; requires contractors to provide their registration number in their ads and contracts; establishes required contract terms for home improvement contracts; prohibits unfair business practices; and creates a criminal penalty for home improvement fraud.

Who must register under the law?


Anyone who owns or operates a home improvement business or who offers, performs, or agrees to perform home improvements in Pennsylvania must register with the Office of Attorney General unless they fall within two exceptions: small contractors (less than $5,000 of work in a calendar year) and large retailers (net worth or more than $50 million).  All contractors, including self-employed contractors and sole proprietorships, subcontractors and independent contractors, and corporations, partnerships and all other types of business entities must be registered, unless they fall into the two exemptions above.

Contractors Registration Act, NJSA 56:9-136, et seq.

 

On or after December 31, 2005, the Contractors Registration Act became effective.  The law provides that home improvement contractors are individuals and companies involved in repairing, renovating, modernizing, installing, replacing, improving, restoring, painting, constructing, remodeling, moving, or demolishing residential or noncommercial properties must register with the Division of Consumer Affairs on an annual basis.Home improvement contractors include those who work on residential driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, patios, additions, landscaping, fences, porches, windows, doors, cabinets, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, finished basements, basement waterproofing, insulation installation, roofing and siding, wall-to-wall carpeting or attached or inlaid floor coverings, and more.  Each registered contractor must secure, maintain and file with the director a proof of certificate of commercial general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000 each occurrence.

The statute prohibits unfair business practices and creates penalty for home improvement fraud.  http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/ or call (973) 504-6370.