New York State General Business Law § 771 outlines the requirements needed for a valid New York State Home Improvement Contract. This law was enacted to protect both businesses and consumers.
If you are signing a Home Improvement Contract, over $500.00, you will want to make sure it includes the following components:
- The contract must be in writing
- Signed by both parties
- Any changes to the contract must be in writing. All amendments shall be evidenced by a writing and shall be signed by all parties to the contract.
- Contractor's name, address, phone number, and if applicable, license number
- Anticipated Start Date
- Anticipated Completion Date
- A list of things which might delay either start or completion date
- Description of work to be done
- Description of materials to be provided
- Total amount due from the customer
- Dates and dollar amounts of all progress payments
- Specific completion events that trigger progress payments
- The contract must be legible and in plain English
- If the contract references another document, the reference must be clear
- The customer must be given a copy of the signed contract before any work begins
- Disclosure must be made to the customer of any connection the contractor has with any party financing the home improvement
- A written agreement of the customer to proceed in light of this disclosure
- Must include the "Notice of Cancellation" language
- Include a refund policy. Otherwise, the customer may be entitled to a full cash refund
- Before a contractor or subcontractor begins work on a home, such writing shall disclose to the homeowner the existence of a property and/or casualty insurance policy that covers the scope of such contractor or subcontractor’s employment should an insurance claim be filed resulting from losses arising from the work at such property. Such disclosure shall also include the contact information of the insurance company providing such property and/or casualty insurance, including a phone number and address.
If you are reviewing a contract to sign and notice any of the above items missing, ask the company to add the missing items. If you have already signed a contract missing any of these items, you may notify our office and file a complaint.
If you have questions, contact us at 716-858-1987.