Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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What Is A New Jersey Home Improvement Contract FAQs

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic. Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email. Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law 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or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws. Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney. Court addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there! Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Many people ask what is a New Jersey home improvement contract under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. For purposes of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, a New Jersey home improvement contract has many meanings. New Jersey home improvement contractors must follow the New Jersey Home Improvement Regulations, the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration Regulations and the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act and New Jersey home improvement contracts must often follow the requirements of the New Jersey Home Improvement Regulations, the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration Regulations and the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act. Otherwise, the and New Jersey home improvement contracts violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey home improvement contract requirements can be quite strict and difficult for a New Jersey home improvement contractor to follow. In fact, most New Jersey home improvement contracts violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s New Jersey home improvement contract requirements.

WHY ARE THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS SO IMPORTANT TO NEW JERSEY HOMEOWNERS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s New Jersey home improvement contract requirements concentrate on New Jersey contracts involving home improvements performed for New Jersey homeowners. New Jersey home improvement contract fraud is a serious problem in New Jersey. New Jersey homeowners are often victimized by fraudulent New Jersey home improvement contracts and New Jersey home improvement contractors who take the New Jersey homeowner’s money never intending to complete the New Jersey home improvement that the contractor promised to perform for the New Jersey homeowner. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s New Jersey home improvement contract requirements provide a powerful weapon to combat New Jersey home improvement contract fraud.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT REGULATIONS?
Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s New Jersey home improvement regulations, "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 o r 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.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT REGULATIONS?
Under the New Jersey home improvement regulations, "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.

TO WHAT TYPES OF PROPERTIES DO THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT REGULATIONS APPLY?
The New Jersey home improvement regulations apply to "residential or non-commercial property" which 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.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTORS’ REGISTRATION ACT?
Under the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act, a New Jersey home improvement involves the remodeling, altering, renovating, repairing, restoring, modernizing, moving, demolishing, or otherwise improving or modifying of the whole or any part of any residential or non-commercial property. Home improvement shall also include insulation installation, and the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or non-commercial property.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTORS’ REGISTRATION ACT?
Under the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act, a New Jersey home improvement contract means an oral or written agreement for the performance of a home improvement between a New Jersey home improvement contractor and a New Jersey homeowner, New Jersey tenant or New Jersey lessee of a residential or noncommercial New Jersey property and includes all New Jersey agreements under which the New Jersey home improvement contractor is to perform labor or render services for New Jersey home improvements, or furnish materials in connection therewith.

TO WHAT TYPES OF NEW JERSEY HOMES DOES THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS THE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTOR’S REGISTRATION ACT APPLY?
The New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act applies to residential or non-commercial properties - any single or multi-unit structure used in whole or in part as a place of residence, and all structures appurtenant thereto, and any portion of the lot or site on which the structure is situated which is devoted to the residential use of the structure.

WHEN IS THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS THE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTOR’S REGISTRATION ACT NOT APPLICABLE?
The New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act shall not apply to:

a. Any person required to register pursuant to "The New Home Warranty and Builders' Registration Act," P.L.1977, c.467(C.46:3B-1 et seq.);
b. Any person performing a home improvement upon a residential or non-commercial property he owns, or that is owned by a member of his family, a bona fide charity, or other non-profit organization;
c. Any person regulated by the State as an architect, professional engineer, landscape architect, land surveyor, electrical contractor, master plumber, or any other person in any other related profession requiring registration, certification, or licensure by the State, who is acting within the scope of practice of his profession;
d. Any person who is employed by a community association or cooperative corporation;
e. Any public utility as defined under R.S.48:2-13;
f. Any person licensed under the provisions of section 16 of P.L.1960, c.41 (C.17:16C-77); and
g. Any home improvement retailer with a net worth of more than $50,000,000, or employee of that retailer.

WHAT ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS MUST A NEW JERSEY HOME IMROVEMENT CONTRACTOR FOLLOW UNDER THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS THE NEW JERSEY CONTRACTOR’S REGISTRATION ACT?
In addition to any other procedure, condition or information required by the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act:

a. Every New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant shall file a disclosure statement with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs stating whether the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant has been convicted of any crime, which for the purposes of the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act shall mean a violation of any of the following provisions of the "New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or the equivalent under the laws of any other jurisdiction:

(1) Any crime of the first degree;

(2) Any crime which is a second or third degree crime and is a violation of chapter 20 or 21 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; or

(3) Any other crime which is a violation of N.J.S.2C:5-1, 2C:5-2, 2C:11-2 through 2C:11-4, 2C:12-1, 2C:12-3, 2C:13-1, 2C:14-2, 2C:15-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-2, 2C:18-2, 2C:20-4, 2C:20-5, 2C:20-7, 2C:20-9, 2C:21-2 through 2C:21-4, 2C:21-6, 2C:21-7, 2C:21-12, 2C:21-14, 2C:21-15, or 2C:21-19, chapter 27 or 28 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, N.J.S.2C:30-2, 2C:30-3, 2C:35-5, 2C:35-10, 2C:37-1 through 2C:37-4.

b. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke any registration issued by him upon proof that the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant or holder of the registration:

(1) Has obtained a registration through fraud, deception or misrepresentation;

(2) Has engaged in the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or false pretense;

(3) Has engaged in gross negligence, gross malpractice or gross incompetence;

(4) Has engaged in repeated acts of negligence, malpractice or incompetence;

(5) Has engaged in professional or occupational misconduct as may be determined by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

(6) Has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or any crime relating adversely to the activity regulated by the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act. For the purpose of this subsection a plea of guilty, non vult, nolo contendere or any other such disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction;

(7) Has had his authority to engage in the activity regulated by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs revoked or suspended by any other state, agency or authority for reasons consistent with this section;

(8) Has violated or failed to comply with the provisions of any act or regulation administered by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

(9) Is incapable, for medical or any other good cause, of discharging the functions of a licensee in a manner consistent with the public's health, safety and welfare.

c. An New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant whose registration is denied, suspended, or revoked pursuant to this section shall, upon a written request transmitted to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs within 30 calendar days of that action, be afforded an opportunity for a hearing in a manner provided for contested cases pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

d. An New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant shall have the continuing duty to provide any assistance or information requested by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and to cooperate in any inquiry, investigation, or hearing conducted by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

e. If any of the information required to be included in the disclosure statement changes, or if additional information should be added after the filing of the statement, the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor applicant shall provide that information to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the change or addition.

f. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (6) of subsection b. of this section, no individual shall be disqualified from registration or shall have registration revoked on the basis of any conviction disclosed if the individual has affirmatively demonstrated to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs clear and convincing evidence of the individual's rehabilitation. In determining whether an individual has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, the following factors shall be considered:

(1) The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted individual would hold;

(2) The nature and seriousness of the offense;

(3) The circumstances under which the offense occurred;

(4) The date of the offense;

(5) The age of the individual when the offense was committed;

(6) Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;

(7) Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and

(8) Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of persons who have had the individual under their supervision.

WHAT PENALTIES DO NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR CONTRACTORS FACE IF THEY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT REGULATIONS OR NEW JERSEY CONTRACTORS’ REGISTRATION ACT REQUIREMENTS?
It is an unlawful practice and a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation to violate any provision of the New Jersey Home Improvement Regulations or the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act. The following are some of the remedies that New Jersey home repair fraud victims may be entitled to under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the New Jersey home improvement contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JEREY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR TRIES TO COLLECT A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT BILL THAT IS THE PRODUCT OF CONSUMER FRAUD?
In the typical New Jersey home repair breach of contract case that does not involve New Jersey consumer fraud, where a New Jersey homeowner prevents a New Jersey home repair contractor from completing the contracted work under the New Jersey home repair contract, the New Jersey home repair contractor may be entitled to recover legal damages. But if a New Jersey home repair contract violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act or the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act, so as to make the New Jersey home improvement contract unenforceable, the New Jersey home repair contract may be prevented from collecting some or even all of the unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill. Consult with a New Jersey lawyer to find out if you qualify for that type of relief against a New Jersey home repair contractor.

EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR CASES IN WHICH THE NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR WAS PREVENTED FROM RECOVERING A NEW JERSEY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT BILL
The following are examples of New Jersey cases where New Jersey home repair contractors failed to collect on their New Jersey home repair contracts because they committed New Jersey consumer fraud violations:
• An unlicensed landscape irrigation New Jersey home repair contractor sued a New Jersey homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill for a sprinkling system and the New Jersey homeowner countersued the New Jersey home repair contractor, alleging that the New Jersey home repair contract was not enforceable because the New Jersey home repair contractor violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
• An owner of a cleaning and restoration franchise specializing in mitigating damage following a fire or flood filed a New Jersey collection lawsuit against New Jersey homeowners and they countersued the New Jersey home repair contractor. The New Jersey court found that the New Jersey home repair contractor caused the dispute and therefore that the New Jersey home repair contractor was not allowed to collect the unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill.
• A New Jersey home repair contractor sued a New Jersey homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill. But because the New Jersey home improvement contractor failed to display its New Jersey home improvement contractor registration number on the New Jersey home repair contract, on most invoices and change orders, failed to display the Division of Consumer Affairs’ toll-free number on its documents and failed to put every change order in writing, the New Jersey home repair contract bill was uncollectible.
• A New Jersey home repair contractor sued a New Jersey homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill and the New Jersey homeowner countersued the New Jersey home repair contractor because the work was shoddy. Thereafter, the New Jersey court found that not only was the New Jersey home repair contractor’s work shoddy but that the New Jersey home repair contractor violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The New Jersey home repair contractor was prevented from recovering the unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill.

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