When a homeowner wants to hire a contractor for improvements, additions or renovations to a house, under New Jersey law, the contractor must be registered.
The New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act requires anyone who makes or sells home improvements, whether a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership or association and including officers, representatives, agents and employees, to register as contractors. In addition to remodeling or repairing homes, home improvement includes demolishing or converting structures into residential or noncommercial property.
In 2007, the state government filed a case against construction company AZ Renovations and Miller. The government prosecuted based on consumer fraud and contractor registration violations. The judge ordered the contractor to pay $750,000 in civil penalties and $137,000 in consumer restitution. According to the article released by the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and Contractor’s Registration Act may result in a maximum first civil penalty of $10,000 and a maximum of $20,000 for each repeated violation.
Violations can also result in the state refusing to issue or suspending or revoking a registration. Grounds include proof of fraud, deception or misrepresentation, gross negligence, gross incompetence, malpractice, and conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, such as theft, fraud, forgery, drug crimes, drunk driving, sexual abuse of a minor, and violent crimes like assault, voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder. Your livelihood is at stake when your registration is revoked or suspended. Proving rehabilitation is a possible defense your attorney can use on your behalf.
When you use a law firm experienced in real estate litigation, you increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Through skilled negotiation, our New Jersey commercial litigation lawyer can often keep clients out of court for civil issues alleging fraud.