Hiring a Contractor?? Check the state registry and do your homework!
By delucaroofi16437779, Jun 5 2017 04:50PM
Spring is the season for home improvements.
Consumers should always check to ensure that the home improvement contractor is registered in Pennsylvania by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov , or by calling 1-888-520-6680.
The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA) requires all contractors who perform $5,000 or more in home improvements in a year to register with the Office of Attorney General. Contractors must re-register every two years.
HICPA was created to protect consumers who hire home improvement contractors and to authorize criminal penalties for home improvement fraud.
The Office of Attorney General has filed many legal actions against "no show" contractors and others doing substandard work. Consumers got refunds, and substandard contractors paid fees and civil penalties.
Consumers should go to the Attorney General's website to make sure a contractor is registered. The website includes the following for registered contractors:
· Contact and insurance information;
· A description of the company;
· Information on any prior home improvement businesses;
· Names of anyone with an interest in the business;
· Any contractor licenses;
· Bankruptcy, criminal plea and conviction history for home improvement fraud, and;
· A map showing where the business is located.
Contractors must register under the law, but take note: their appearance in the registry does not mean the OAG endorses their work. "Registration" is not a license or a seal of approval. It is not meant to imply that they have met any standards for quality of work.
That's why we recommend that you "go the extra mile" when evaluating any contractor. In addition to the Attorney General's website, you should carefully check all references, contact the Better Business Bureau, and get more than one estimate before committing to anything.
To report an unregistered contractor, call the Home Improvement Registration Hotline at 1-888-520-6680. Complaints about unregistered contractors may also be emailed to the Attorney General's Office at HIC@attorneygeneral.gov .
This information was obtained from the website of the Attorney General at www.attorneygeneral.gov