Registration Deadline Nears for Home Improvement Contractors State Database to Track Consumer Complaints
6/10/2009
Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams/Franklin) reminds local residents that by July 1, all contractors doing more than $5,000 of home improvement work annually must be registered with the state.
 
In an effort to provide residents with better information when choosing a contractor, details of the contactors’ registration will be placed on contracts, promotional materials and business cards so that consumers may use the information to reference a statewide database of complaints.
 
Every year, thousands of Pennsylvanians file consumer complaints about home improvement contractors who take money and fail to perform satisfactory construction or repairs. These complaints typically increase during the spring, when homeowners are more likely to hire contractors to perform various projects.
 
There are several things consumers should look out for to protect themselves from disreputable or fraudulent home improvement contractors.
 
Unsolicited, traveling contractors who come to a home and point out specific problems should be met with caution. If they arrive in an unmarked truck or van and refuse to provide proof of insurance or references it is safe to say they are not reputable contractors. 
 
Frequently, these scams begin with a claim to have just finished a job, and then offer a great deal on leftover material. They also employ high-pressure sales tactics like limited-time offers.
 
When hiring a contractor, homeowners should obtain a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day right-to-cancel notice. Penalty clauses for late completion have also proven helpful in ensuring timely projects. Individuals should never sign a blank contract or hire a contractor that does not have a business card or local phone number and address.   Also, final payments should be withheld until work is finished and homeowners are completely satisfied.
 
More information on the registration program and the complaints database is expected to be available in the near future as the attorney general’s office continues with the program’s implementation. For more information on consumer protection, or to file a complaint with the attorney general’s office, visit Moul’s Web site at www.RepMoul.com.
 
Rep. Dan Moul
91st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(717) 334-3010
(717) 783-5217
Member Site: RepMoul.com
Contact: Donna Pinkham
(717) 260-6452
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com