Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act Takes Effect July 1

June 30th, 2009 by Editor

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, which was adopted by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly last October, will take effect July 1, 2009. The law requires that all contractors who perform $5,000 or more in home improvements annually register with the Attorney General’s Office. Included are those who perform home improvements, installations or replacements of a variety of services including doors and windows, solar energy systems, as well as many others. Registration requires that contractors maintain minimum insurance coverage and use contracts containing important information about home projects, including the start date and completion date, a description of work being performed and consumers’ rights under the law. The registration is valid for two years and costs $50.According to Pennsylvania attorney general Tom Corbett, the law is intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors, provide new protection for consumers who hire home improvement contractors and authorize criminal penalties for home improvement fraud.

Door and window companies in Pennsylvania say this new regulation is good news for the state’s home improvement market.

“We are thrilled that the Attorney General’s Office is requiring contractors/dealers to register with the state if they want to do business here after July 1,” says Alan Levin, president and chief executive office of Northeast Building Products located in Philadelphia. “We are encouraged to know that people wishing to do home improvement work and or repair in our state, are now required to provide information, such as proper insurance, and their drivers licenses. This will help to reduce the chances of fraud that has become Pennsylvania’s number-one complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, surpassing automobile fraud. This we are not proud of. Anything that gets done to help maintain the credibility of our industry is a positive one.”

Tyson Schwartz, vice president of sales and marketing for Gorell Windows and Doors in Indiana, Pa., has a similar view.

“This new act, which is meant to protect homeowners from unscrupulous contractors does put the professional and honest remodeling dealers/contractors on a much better playing field. Remodelers will have to have a more open book policy with homeowners in regard to insurance, any past legal issues, any past licensing issues, etc.,” says Schwartz. “The Pennsylvania remodeling dealers will quickly adjust to the act, and homeowners will have the benefit of knowing the remodeling industry will be a much more professional and open book industry.”

CLICK HERE to register online.

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