Your Contractor may be liable to you for consumer fraud violations, New Jersey home repair contractors and home improvement contractors must:

  • Register annually with the Department of Community Affairs
  • The statements they make in the registration must be truthful
  • Contractors must display their registration number on their contracts and other documents
  • They must maintain liability and other insurance
  • Have a written, signed contract containing specifically required information, which is legible and accurate; thus not misrepresent anything
  • All change orders must be signed and in writing
  • Contractors must disclose and provide copies of all warranties
  • They must include required language with the consumer’s right to cancel the contract
  • Contractors must obtain all required permits before starting work
  • Contractors cannot substitute materials without the homeowner’s written consent
  • They may not engage in any misleading act or omission or fail to include any term or cost in the written, signed contract
  • Contractors cannot use any pressure tactics or misrepresent a competitor’s work
  • Contractor must give notice of delays beyond their contractor’s control, such as strikes, weather or acts of God.

If a contractor is found to have violated these regulations, it is a violation of the Act, which entitles the homeowner to triple damages plus having the contractor pay her attorneys fees. Another problem is that some homeowners assert these regulations as a defense to payment, even though the contractor did a great job; if there is a violation, there is a chance that the contractor may be denied any recovery and still be liable for damages and attorneys fees.