Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Home Improvement Consumer Fraud Rules

Read below to learn more about this topic.

Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey court cases, such as those in New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court!!! Do not use this article if you have a New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court case!!! Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule that may apply to your New Jersey case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD HOME IMPROVEMENT PRACTICES REGULATIONS

TITLE 13. LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
CHAPTER 45A. ADMINISTRATIVE RULES OF THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SUBCHAPTER 16. HOME IMPROVEMENT PRACTICES
§ 13:45A-16.1 Purpose and scope
(a) The purpose of the rules in this subchapter is to implement the provisions of the Consumer
Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., by providing procedures for the regulation and content of home
improvement contracts and establishing standards to facilitate enforcement of the requirements of
the Act.
(b) The rules in this subchapter shall apply to all sellers as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.1A and to
all home improvement contractors as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-17.2 whether or not they are exempt
from the provisions of N.J.A.C. 13:45A-17.
§ 13:45A-16.1A Definitions
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings
unless the context indicates otherwise.
"Home improvement" means the remodeling, altering, painting, repairing, renovating, restoring,
moving, demolishing, or modernizing of residential or noncommercial property or the making
of additions thereto, and includes, but is not limited to, the construction, installation, replacement,
improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, patios, landscaping,
fences, porches, windows, doors, cabinets, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements and basement
waterproofing, fire protection devices, security protection devices, central heating and air
conditioning equipment, water softeners, heaters, and purifiers, solar heating or water systems,
insulation installation, siding, wall-to-wall carpeting or attached or inlaid floor coverings, and other
changes, repairs, or improvements made in or on, attached to or forming a part of the residential
or noncommercial property, but does not include the construction of a new residence. The term extends
to the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or noncommercial property
and includes any of the above activities performed under emergency conditions.
"Home improvement contract" means an oral or written agreement between a seller and an
owner of residential or noncommercial property, or a seller and a tenant or lessee of residential or
noncommercial property, if the tenant or lessee is to be obligated for the payment of home improvements
made in, to, or upon such property, and includes all agreements under which the seller
is to perform labor or render services for home improvements, or furnish materials in connection
therewith.
"Residential or non-commercial property" means a structure used, in whole or in substantial
part, as a home or place of residence by any natural person, whether or not a single or multi-unit
structure, and that part of the lot or site on which it is situated and which is devoted to the residential
use of the structure, and includes all appurtenant structures.
"Sales representative" means a person employed by or contracting with a seller for the purpose
of selling home improvements.
"Seller" means a person engaged in the business of making or selling home improvements and
includes corporations, partnerships, associations and any other form of business organization or
entity, and their officers, representatives, agents and employees.
§ 13:45A-16.2 Unlawful practices
(a) Without limiting any other practices which may be unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act,
N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., utilization by a seller of the following acts and practices involving the sale,
attempted sale, advertisement or performance of home improvements shall be unlawful hereunder.
1. Model home representations: Misrepresent or falsely state to a prospective buyer that the
buyer's residential or noncommercial property is to serve as a "model" or "advertising job", or use
any other prospective buyer lure to mislead the buyer into believing that a price reduction or other
compensation will be received by reason of such representations;
2. Product and material representations: Misrepresent directly or by implication that products or
materials to be used in the home improvement:
i. Need no periodic repainting, finishing, maintenance or other service;
ii. Are of a specific or well-known brand name, or are produced by a specific manufacturer
or exclusively distributed by the seller;
iii. Are of a specific size, weight, grade or quality, or possess any other distinguishing characteristics
or features;
iv. Perform certain functions or substitute for, or are equal in performance to, other products
or materials;
v. Meet or exceed municipal, state, federal, or other applicable standards or requirements;
vi. Are approved or recommended by any governmental agency, person, firm or organization,
or that they are the users of such products or materials;
vii. Are of sufficient size, capacity, character or nature to do the job expected or represented;
viii. Are or will be custom-built or specially designed for the needs of the buyer; or
ix. May be serviced or repaired within the buyer's immediate trade area, or be maintained
with replacement and repair parts which are readily available.
3. Bait selling:
i. Offer or represent specific products or materials as being for sale, where the purpose or
effect of the offer or representation is not to sell as represented but to bait or entice the
buyer into the purchase of other or higher priced substitute products or materials;
ii. Disparage, degrade or otherwise discourage the purchase of products or materials offered
or represented by the seller as being for sale to induce the buyer to purchase
other or higher priced substitute products or materials;
iii. Refuse to show, demonstrate or sell products or materials as advertised, offered, or represented
as being for sale;
iv. Substitute products or materials for those specified in the home improvement contract,
or otherwise represented or sold for use in the making of home improvements by sample,
illustration or model, without the knowledge or consent of the buyer;
v. Fail to have available a quantity of the advertised product sufficient to meet reasonably
anticipated demands; or
vi. Misrepresent that certain products or materials are unavailable or that there will be a
long delay in their manufacture, delivery, service or installation in order to induce a
buyer to purchase other or higher priced substitute products or materials from the seller.
4. Identity of seller:
i. Deceptively gain entry into the prospective buyer's home or onto the buyer's property
under the guise of any governmental or public utility inspection, or otherwise misrepresent
that the seller has any official right, duty or authority to conduct an inspection;
ii. Misrepresent that the seller is an employee, office or representative of a manufacturer,
importer or any other person, firm or organization, or a member of any trade associa-
tion, or that such person, firm or organization will assume some obligation in fulfilling
the terms of the contract;
iii. Misrepresent the status, authority or position of the sales representative in the organization
he represents;
iv. Misrepresent that the sales representative is an employee or representative of or works
exclusively for a particular seller; or
v. Misrepresent that the seller is part of any governmental or public agency in any printed
or oral communication including but not limited to leaflets, tracts or other printed material,
or that any licensing denotes approval by the governmental agency.
5. Gift offers:
i. Offer or advertise any gift, free item or bonus without fully disclosing the terms or conditions
of the offer, including expiration date of the offer and when the gift, free item or
bonus will be given; or
ii. Fail to comply with the terms of such offer.
6. Price and financing:
i. Misrepresent to a prospective buyer that an introductory, confidential, close-out, going
out of business, factory, wholesale, or any other special price or discount is being given,
or that any other concession is made because of a market survey or test, use of materials
left over from another job, or any other reason;
ii. Misrepresent that any person, firm or organization, whether or not connected with the
seller, is especially interested in seeing that the prospective buyer gets a bargain, special
price, discount or any other benefit or concession;
iii. Misrepresent or mislead the prospective buyer into believing that insurance or some
other form of protection will be furnished to relieve the buyer from obligations under the
contract if the buyer becomes ill, dies or is unable to make payments;
iv. Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that no obligation will be incurred because
of the signing of any document, or that the buyer will be relieved of some or all
obligations under the contract by the signing of any documents;
v. Request the buyer to sign a certificate of completion, or make final payment on the contract
before the home improvement is completed in accordance with the terms of the
contract;
vi. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include delivery
or installation, or that other requirements must be fulfilled by the buyer as a condition
to the performance of labor, services, or the furnishing of products or materials at
the offered or contract price;
vii. Mislead the prospective buyer into believing that the down payment or any other sum
constitutes the full amount the buyer will be obligated to pay;
viii. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include all financing
charges, interest service charges, credit investigation costs, building or installation
permit fees, or other obligations, charges, cost or fees to be paid by the buyer;
ix. Advise or induce the buyer to inflate the value of the buyer's property or assets, or to
misrepresent or falsify the buyer's true financial position in order to obtain credit; or
x. Increase or falsify the contract price, or induce the buyer by any means to misrepresent
or falsify the contract price or value of the home improvement for financing purposes or
to obtain additional credit.
7. Performance:
i. Deliver materials, begin work, or use any similar tactic to unduly pressure the buyer into
a home improvement contract, or make any claim or assertion that a binding contract
has been agreed upon where no final agreement or understanding exists;
ii. Fail to begin or complete work on the date or within the time period specified in the
home improvement contract, or as otherwise represented, unless the delay is for reason
of labor stoppage; unavailability of supplies or materials, unavoidable casualties, or any
other cause beyond the seller's control. Any changes in the dates or time periods stated
in a written contract shall be agreed to in writing; or
iii. Fail to give timely written notice to the buyer of reasons beyond the seller's control for
any delay in performance, and when the work will begin or be completed.
8. Competitors:
i. Misrepresent that the work of a competitor was performed by the seller;
ii. Misrepresent that the seller's products, materials or workmanship are equal to or better
than those of a competitor; or
iii. Use or imitate the trademarks, trade names, labels or other distinctive marks of a competitor.
9. Sales representations:
i. Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that a purchase will aid or help some
public, charitable, religious, welfare or veterans' organization, or misrepresent the extent
of such aid or assistance;
ii. Knowingly fail to make any material statement of fact, qualification or explanation if the
omission of such statement, qualification or explanation causes an advertisement, announcement,
statement or representation to be false, deceptive or misleading; or
iii. Misrepresent that the customer's present equipment, material, product, home or a part
thereof is dangerous or defective, or in need of repair or replacement.
10. Building permits:
i. No seller contracting for the making of home improvements shall commence work until
he is sure that all applicable state or local building and construction permits have been
issued as required under state laws or local ordinances; or
ii. Where midpoint or final inspections are required under state laws or local ordinances,
copies of inspection certificates shall be furnished to the buyer by the seller when construction
is completed and before final payment is due or the signing of a completion slip
is requested of the buyer.
11. Guarantees or warranties:
i. The seller shall furnish the buyer a written copy of all guarantees or warranties made
with respect to labor services, products or materials furnished in connection with home
improvements. Such guarantees or warranties shall be specific, clear and definite and
shall include any exclusions or limitations as to their scope or duration. Copies of all
guarantees or warranties shall be furnished to the buyer at the time the seller presents
his bid as well as at the time of execution of the contract, except that separate guarantees
or warranties of the manufacturer of products or materials may be furnished at the
time such products or materials are installed.
12. Home improvement contract requirements--writing requirement: All home improvement contracts
for a purchase price in excess of $500.00, and all changes in the terms and conditions
thereof shall be in writing. Home improvement contracts which are required by this subsection to
be in writing, and all changes in the terms and conditions thereof, shall be signed by all parties
thereto, and shall clearly and accurately set forth in legible form and in understandable language
all terms and conditions of the contract, including, but not limited to, the following:
i. The legal name and business address of the seller, including the legal name and business
address of the sales representative or agent who solicited or negotiated the contract
for the seller;
ii. A description of the work to be done and the principal products and materials to be used
or installed in performance of the contract. The description shall include, where applicable,
the name, make, size, capacity, model, and model year of principal products or fixtures
to be installed, and the type, grade, quality, size or quantity of principal building or
construction materials to be used. Where specific representations are made that certain
types of products or materials will be used, or the buyer has specified that certain types
of products are to be used, a description of such products or materials shall be clearly
set forth in the contract;
iii. The total price or other consideration to be paid by the buyer, including all finance
charges. If the contract is one for time and materials, the hourly rate for labor and all
other terms and conditions of the contract affecting price shall be clearly stated;
iv. iv. The dates or time period on or within which the work is to begin and be completed by
the seller;
v. A description of any mortgage or security interest to be taken in connection with the financing
or sale of the home improvement; and
vi. A statement of any guarantee or warranty with respect to any products, materials, labor
or services made by the seller.
13. Disclosures and obligations concerning preservation of buyers' claims and defenses:
i. If a person other than the seller is to act as the general contractor or assume responsibility
for performance of the contract, the name and address of such person shall be disclosed
in the oral or written contract, except as otherwise agreed, and the contract shall
not be sold or assigned without the written consent of the buyer;
ii. ii. No home improvement contract shall require or entail the execution of any note,
unless such note shall have conspicuously printed thereon the disclosures required by either
State law (N.J.S.A. 17:16C-64.2 (consumer note)) or Federal law (16 C.F.R. section
433.2) concerning the preservation of buyers' claims and defenses.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.
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