More than 200 home improvement contractors reached agreements with the state for allegedly violating state law by failing to provide written contracts to customers and skirting other laws, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today.
Schneiderman said the 211 home improvement contractors violated various parts of the state’s Home Improvement Contracts Law. The contractors included 48 in the Binghamton area, 31 in Buffalo, 28 in Rochester and 27 in Poughkeepsie.
The contractors signed an agreement to end the unlawful conduct and pay penalties and fines up to $1,500 because of the investigation by Schneiderman’s office, he said in a news release. He said the charges dealt largely with contractors not putting contracts in writing or not putting deposits for the work into specific bank accounts.
“Far too often, homeowners hire contractors without having signed documents stating what work will be done and how long it will take. And time and again, consumers end up with much larger bills than expected, or with projects that were never started or completed,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Schneiderman said the state’s General Business Law requires every contractor before beginning any work to provide the consumer with a written contract that is signed by both parties. It should include specific information about the work, such as the start and completion dates.
The contract must also describe the work to be done, the materials to be provided and notice that a consumer has three days to cancel the contract without penalty, he said.
The law also requires any advance deposits by the contractor to be put into an account at a bank that’s separate from the contractor’s other funds. The contractor must also notify the consumer of the bank at which the deposit is kept, the attorney general explained.
If consumers have complaints, they can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline: 1-800-771-7755
Here’s the list of contractors who reached agreements with the Attorney General’s Office, according to Schneiderman: