The Home Repair and Remodeling Act was enacted by the State of Illinois in 2000 to protect consumers from unscrupulous home repair contractors. The Act mandates that contractors furnish homeowners who are soliciting a project costing more than $1,000 with a copy of the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet. In addition, the homeowner and contractor must sign an acknowledgement stating that the homeowner received the pamphlet from the contractor, and there must be a written contract in place detailing all costs.
Tips to Handle Your Contract
Safeguarding your property and your money does not start and stop with being handed a document and signing it. Proper understanding is the first step to guarding against fraudulent transactions and other forms of unethical behavior by contractors. The Office of the Illinois Attorney General reminds homeowners to:
- Get everything in writing. Your contract should include the contractor’s contact details such as his or her full business name, address and telephone number, scope of the project, starting and completion dates, total costs and provisions for termination.
- Check local or county units to verify permits. Local jurisdictions sometimes have differing rules for issuing licenses and permits. Check your area’s specific regulations to determine your contractor’s competence and eligibility.
- Review the contract properly. Sign a contract only if you completely understand it. If there are blank spaces or you are confused about certain conditions, ask your contractor for clarifications and additional guidance.
If you decide that you no longer want to continue with the project, you have three days from the date of your contract signing to cancel it.
Additional Tips to Protect Your Rights
Always ask your local labor department for a comprehensive list of licensed roofers. Doing so will not only protect your consumer rights, it will also assure you of quality workmanship that will add functionality and value to your home.
Also make sure your chosen contractor is insured. In Illinois, contractors are required to have $100,000 liability and damage insurance per person, $300,000 per bodily injury occurrence, $50,000 per property damage occurrence, and $10,000 per improper home repair or remodeling occurrence.
The Home Repair and Remodeling Act offers another level of protection for homeowners. If you find yourself a victim of a fraud, immediately contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline.
John Rogers, president of Rogers Roofing, is proud to be the second-generation owner of a family business that has delivered high-quality home improvement solutions to Chicago and Northwest Indiana since 1968. When he’s not out in the field, he enjoys attending his sons’ sport practices and games, and his daughter’s dance recitals.