For less than $500.00, you might be able to restore your floors or redo the master closet. You might even be able to get your HVAC system inspected for less than that. Once you cross that $500.00 threshold, there better be a home improvement contract. The New Jersey Administrative Code, N.J.A.C. § 13:45a-16.2(12) to be precise, dictates that all home improvements with a purchase price in excess of $500.00 must contain specific terms and conditions. Any changes made to these terms and conditions must be signed off on by all parties. All of this can be credited to New Jersey’s strict consumer laws, especially when it comes to home improvement. In order to at least be on the same page as any contractor you may employ in the improvement of your home, it is a good idea to at least be familiar with the basic regulatory requirements in a NJ home improvement contract:
- A New Jersey home improvement contract must contain the legal name and business address of the contractor.
- A contract should provide as thorough a description of the work to be done as possible. This may include the name, make, size, capacity, model, and model year of the principal products or fixtures to be installed. It may also describe the type, grade, quality, size or quantity of principal building or construction materials to be used.
- Without a doubt, the total price to be paid by the buyer must be made abundantly clear.
- The same goes for the dates or time period on or within which all work by the contractor is expected to begin and end. The contract must contain start and end dates.
These are the regulatory requirements that should pop out when reviewing a home improvement contract. Any mortgage or security interest taken in connection with the financing or sale of home improvement should also be mentioned. You should also be sure that any products, materials, labor or services rendered come with a warranty.
Failure to comply with the CFA’s regulations comes with a significant cost. Contractors found liable for regulatory violations may face up to three times the actual damages sustained by the Plaintiff. If you wish to pursue a claim under the CFA, the first thing you should do is seek the counsel of an experienced consumer law attorney. From there, your claim must include the following three elements:
- Describe any unlawful practices done by the defendant.
- Show a quantifiable loss.
- Establish a link between the unlawful conduct and your loss.
For those who need clarification as to what constitutes “unlawful practices” according to the CFA, remember that regulatory violations are just one example. The other two are affirmative acts and knowing omissions. If you have any questions regarding a home improvement contract or potential violations under the CFA, contact this office for a free initial consultation.
Please be advised that this blog is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment