The Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Law was created to protect homeowners and prevent them from being taken advantage of by bad contractors. It sets out a number of rules that businesses performing residential contracting must follow. These rules regulate business practices, advertising, contracts, payments, and more.
Unfortunately, too many home improvement contractors don’t follow the rules and too often homeowners are left wondering what to do when they need to sue a contractor. For example, a homeowner may need to file a lawsuit because a contractor performs shoddy work or a contractor abandons the job. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Homeowners must take action quickly to preserve their rights. Homeowners who simply fire the contractor or stop payment without the help of a home improvement attorney can find themselves defending a lawsuit brought by a contractor for breach of contract.
Massachusetts defines residential contracting as “the renovation, repair, improvement, demolition or construction of an addition to any pre-existing building containing at least one to four dwelling units.” With a few limited exceptions, anyone performing work matching this definition, which may include subcontractors, is considered a home improvement contractor who must follow the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Law. When contractors don't follow the law, homeowners have a right to sue the contractor for damages.
It's not uncommon for a home improvement contractor to sue a homeowner for unpaid fees even if the contractor performed poor work. Don't be bullied into paying for shoddy or incomplete work.
A common reason why homeowners sue home improvement contractors is breach of contract. In Massachusetts, all contracts for home improvement projects that cost more than $1,000.00 must be in writing and contain mandatory provisions designed to protect the homeowner.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Law specifically lists things contractors are not allowed to do. When harmed by this conduct, the homeowner may be able sue the home improvement contractor and recover money. The judge can order stiff penalties against the contractor – such as payment of 2 or 3 times the amount of financial harm, and reimbursement for attorneys’ fees and other lawsuit costs.
Here are a few of the more common ways home improvement contractors break the law.
Walckner Law Office provides a no-cost, no-obligation initial conversation. Discuss your home improvement lawsuit with lawyer today.
When you need a lawyer to file a lawsuit against a home improvement contractor, look for a civil trial lawyer. Home improvement lawsuits are a niche area of the law, which can leave homeowners unsure what kind of lawyer they need to sue a contractor. This is understandable because there are many different kinds of lawyers who practice different kinds of law.
Most real estate lawyers focus on transactions related to purchasing or leasing property. Many do not go to court. Those who do perform real estate litigation typically focus on cases about the purchase, sale, or use of real estate, not service contracts for home improvement, repair, or renovation. Lawyers who litigate breach of contract claims are often business lawyers who focus on business-to-business contracts. They do not typically represent consumers in lawsuits against businesses like home improvement contractors. Construction lawyers typically represent construction companies and contractors. While some may help property owners, construction lawyers are more likely to represent owners of commercial properties or large residential developments, not individual homeowners.
Homeowners who need to file a lawsuit against a contractor who performed home improvement, repair, or renovation services should look for a law firm focused on helping consumers not contractors. Walckner Law Office is dedicated to helping consumers hurt by bad businesses. We represent homeowners throughout Central and Western Massachusetts when they need to file a lawsuit against a home improvement contractor, or defend against a lawsuit brought by a contractor. As civil trial lawyers, we are ready to take your case to court if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached outside of litigation.
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