HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett is reminding contractors to register with the Attorney General’s Office, in order to comply with a new law that goes into effect
In 2008, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The law requires that all contractors who perform $5,000 or more in home improvements in a year must register with the Attorney General’s Office.
Corbett said the new law requires home improvement contractors to register with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, maintain minimum insurance coverage and use contracts that contain important information about home projects, including the start date and completion date, a de scri ption of work being performed and consumers’ rights under the law. The registration is valid for two years and costs $50.
Corbett said that the law is intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors, provide new protection for consumers who hire home improvement contractors and authorize criminal penalties for home improvement fraud.
“The Attorney General’s Office has worked to ensure that the registration process is as quick and easy as possible for contractors,” Corbett said. “If contractors complete their registration online, they will receive their registration number instantaneously.”
Beginning July 1, 2009, Pennsylvania consumers will be able to verify a contractor’s registration with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting here or by calling a toll-free hotline.
The Office of Attorney General office encourages consumers to use only registered contractors when making home improvements.
According to Corbett, the Attorney General’s Office received more than 2,100 complaints in 2008 from consumers struggling with problems involving home improvement projects.
“Complaints involving home improvement or repair projects are one of the top subjects of calls to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection,” Corbett said. “This legislation will give us new tools to identify and prosecute problem contractors, while also helping consumers avoid frustrating and potentially expensive problems in the future.”
Corbett noted that contractors can register online at www.attorneygeneral.gov, or by submitting a completed application form to Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, ATTN: Home Improvement Contractor Registration, 15th Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA, 17120. Forms are available online or by calling 1-800-441-2555.