Since we opened our doors on January 1, 2013, The Law Office of William Wright LLC has been helping homeowners protect themselves from the pitfalls of rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. Because of the high volume of construction work in the Jersey Shore region, most of our work has focused on helping homeowners who have been victimized by unscrupulous home improvement contractors.
In New Jersey, homeowners are entitled to a long list of protections under the umbrella of our State’s Consumer Fraud Act (N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.). Those protections are laid out by Statutes and Regulations commonly known as the “Home Improvement Practices Act” (N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16 et seq.) and the “Contractor Registration Act” (N.J.S.A. 56:8-136 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 13:45A-17 et seq.).
Some examples of the rights and remedies available to homeowners in New Jersey are:
- the right to know the dates or time period within which construction work will begin or be completed;
- the right to specific descriptions of the materials to be used in the home improvements;
- the right to know your home improvement contractor’s registration number;
- the right to know how much money the work will cost you;
- the right to cancel the home improvement contract within three days of execution;
- the right to a signed, written contract;
- the right to signed, written change orders for any change to the home improvement contract.
All of this information must be explicitly stated in any home improvement contract over $500. If a contractor fails to provide the homeowner with this and other mandatory information, and such failure caused a loss to the homeowner, the contractor could be liable for three time’s the homeowner’s loss, along with the homeowner’s attorney’s fees and costs.
Remember, New Jersey is known for protecting its consumers, and because of that, the statutes and regulations that protect homeowners are interpreted broadly by our Courts. As such, even restoration work, like tearing out and cleaning up wet carpet and sheet-rock are considered “home improvements” entitling the homeowner to protection.
Our office will continue to fight for New Jersey homeowners victimized by home improvement contractors after Superstorm Sandy so that our community can rebuild even stronger than before.