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, 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
- 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
- Use the language found on the "Notice of Cancellation" provided below
- Include a refund policy. Otherwise, the customer may be entitled to a full cash refund
All amendments shall be evidenced by a writing and shall be signed by all parties to the contract.
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 716-858-6169.