Remodeling, Renovation, & General Contractors, Requirements, New York, Manhattan, Queens, NY

New York, Manhattan, General Contractors for Apartment, Brownstone, Towne House, Condo, Co-Op, Remodeling, Renovations, Alterations, and Construction.

Online PR News – 11-March-2009 – – All General and Home Improvement Contractors who work and do business in the state of New York must have a license to do so issued by the governing authority. The New York City Department of Buildings issues the General Contractor Registration and The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs issues the (HIC) Home Improvement License. Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) are also to required to have a Home Improvement Salesperson's License issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs as well.

Along with licensing, a General Contractor and Home Improvement Contractor must have all the proper insurance coverage at all times. Liability, Workmen's Comp, and Disability. The information below will inform consumers of what is necessary by law to work as a General or Home Improvement Contractor in New York City.

(HIC) Home Improvement Contractors License

New York City's Home Improvement Business Law defines a contractor as anyone who 'owns, operates, maintains, conducts, controls or transacts a home improvement business' and 'undertakes or offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement or solicits any contract therefor,' whether or not the contractor is a prime contractor or subcontractor.

In other words, if you receive an offer to build on, repair, or remodel your home or apartment for a fee, you're dealing with a contractor. Whether you own or rent, or if the dwelling is a co-op or a condo, this is the rule. A contractor may be an individual, partnership, or a corporation.

New York City law requires that any person or business that solicits, canvasses, sells, performs, or obtains home improvement work where all costs (including labor, materials, etc.) come to more than $200 total must have an (HIC) Home Improvement Contractors License which is issued by the Department of Consumer Afairs.

(HIC) License -holders undergo a criminal history check, pass a written examination, pay a license fee, and post a bond or contribute to a Trust Fund that gives restitution to consumers. There are thousands of licensed home improvement contractors in New York City, however, there are also thousands of unethical so called contractors who work without a license or insurance. Don't take any chances with your home! A license is no guarantee that a contractor will always engage in proper business conduct, but it gives Consumer Afairs the authority to act on your behalf.

Consumers are often able to get compensation because they hired a licensed contractor. A DCA Trust Fund, based on mandatory contributions from legitimate license-holding contractors, makes these payments possible. To find out if a contractor is licensed in New York, call 3-1-1.

The law defines home improvement as the construction, repair, replacement, remodeling, alteration, conversion, rehabilitation, renovation, modernization, improvement, or addition to any land or building, or that part of the land or building used or designed to be used as a residence or dwelling place.

The home in home improvement refers to:

. condo units
. co-op units
. rented apartments
. private buildings with four or fewer residential units

This applies to contracts with homeowners who own single or multiple dwellings of up to four residences, as well as tenants, condominium unit holders, and cooperative shareholders who are making improvements to their apartments (regardless of the number of residences or dwelling units in the buildings where they reside).

A contractor cannot:

1. Abandon or fail to perform any home improvement contract.

2. Make any substantial misrepresentation in the solicitation of a home improvement contract.

3. Commit fraud in the execution of a contract, mortgage, promissory note or other document related to the home improvement transaction.

4. Publish any advertisement which contains false, deceptive or misleading representations.

5. Violate the building, sanitary, fire and health laws.

6. Fail to notify The Department of Consumer Affairs of ownership and management changes.

7. Conduct the home improvement business in any name other than the one licensed.

8. Act as an agent for, or advertise, promote or arrange a home loan or a home improvement loan for the homeowner.

What kind of penalties can a contractor be liable for in connection with false representation?

A contractor or salesperson who lies is subject to fines of up to $500 for each separate misrepresentation. In addition, a contract entered into after misrepresentations are made may be declared null and void, and a contractor may be ordered to pay restitution to the homeowner.

What are the penalties for operating a home improvement business without a license?

Any person who owns or operates a home improvement business without a license or after a license is suspended/revoked is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be prosecuted criminally and subject to up to 6 months imprisonment and/or $1,000 in fines. Each violation is a separate offense. In addition, such a person may be prosecuted civilly and faces fines of up to $100 per day for engaging in unlicensed activity or aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed person or business. Finally, DCA can padlock (close down) and confiscate the tools and truck.

(HIS) Home Improvement Salesperson License

The City law describes a home improvement salesperson as anyone who 'negotiates or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract' with a property owner, or 'solicits or otherwise endeavors to procure in person a home improvement contract from an owner on behalf of a contractor, or for himself or herself should the salesperson be also the contractor.'

If you are solicited to hire a contractor, the salesperson doing the soliciting needs a Home Improvement Salesperson license. The contractor paying the salesperson must have a Home Improvement Contractor license. If the salesperson is also the contractor, he or she needs both the Home Improvement Contractor and the Home Improvement Salesperson licenses.

New York City Department Of Buildings General Contractor Registration

The New York City Department of Buildings issues the registration for general contractors who build one-, two- and three-family homes. The registration requirement is designed to increase a general contractor's accountability on a job site and protect homebuyers from poor quality construction. General contractors seeking permits to erect one-, two-, or three-family homes must register with the Buildings Department by October 31, 2008. After that date, only general contractors registered with the Buildings Department will be issued building permits for these types of buildings. Unregistered individuals or entities found building one-, two- or three-family homes after October 31, 2008 will be subject to violations, Stop Work Orders, criminal charges, and the seizure of vehicles and construction tools.

To obtain a registration number, a general contractor must:

Meet and maintain certain qualifications; Pass a limited background check; Provide business and personal records to the Buildings Department; and Submit original proof of general liability insurance, workers compensation, and disability insurance.

Once registered, general contractors building one-, two-, and three-family homes must provide a warranty to homebuyers that guarantees the structure will be free of certain defects during for six years after construction is complete. General contractors who successfully register will be issued a photo identification card, which they must carry with them so that those retaining the contractor's services will be able to clearly verify the contractor is approved and registered to do the work.

Contractor Insurance Requirements For New York City

All General and Home Improvement Contractors in New York must carry all the required insurances to protect consumers and themselves. All insurance must be in force at all times. Your contractor should provide you with any required certificates of insurance necessary prior to the commencement of any work. They need to carry the following:

1. General Liability
2. Workmen's Compensation
3. Disability

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