The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act affords protections for consumers who hire contractors for home remodeling projects.
Effective July 1, 2009, contractors who perform home improvements totaling $5,000 or more per year must register with the Office of Attorney General. The law requires written contracts between the contractor and consumer when the price of the project exceeds $500, and provides for criminal penalties for violations of the act. If you are remodeling your home, be sure your contractor is registered with the Office of Attorney General before you sign a contract.
To check the registration status of a contractor, please call toll free (888)520-6680.
What is Home Improvement Fraud?
Home improvement fraud occurs when:
· A contractor intentionally provides false or misleading information to convince a consumer to enter into an agreement for home improvements.
· A contractor receives payment and fails to provide the services or materials.
· A contractor damages a person’s property in order to solicit an agreement for services or materials
· A contractor alters a contract or other documents without the consent of the consumer.
· A contractor publishes false or deceptive advertisements.
· A contractor misrepresents material as special order material or misrepresents the cost of special order material.
· A contractor represents himself or herself as an employee of a government unit or public utility.
What Are My Rights?
· A home improvement contractor must provide you with a copy of the complete contract free of charge.
· You have the right to rescind your home improvement contract without penalty within three business days of the signing date, except as provided under law for emergency situations.
· A home improvement contract is not enforceable against a consumer if it does not include all of the information required by law.
· A contractor may not demand or receive any payment for a home improvement before the home improvement contract is signed.
Where Can I Find My Contractor’s Registration Number?
· All contractors must display their official registration number on all contracts, estimates, proposals, and advertisements distributed within the Commonwealth.
· To verify a contractor’s registration number call toll free (888)520-6680.
Instructions and registration online registration forms for all contractors seeking to register can be found on the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s website. A paper version of instructions and registration can be found below.
Completed registration forms can be submitted to:
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Bureau of Consumer Protection
15th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
ATTN: Home Improvement Contractor Registration