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New Law Requires Home Construction And Repair Contracts To Include Attorney General's Warnings And
September 1, 2006
Attorney General Steve Rowe today announced that updates to the Attorney General's website will make it easy for home building and repair contractors to comply with a law that becomes effective today and requires them to include consumer protection information as an addendum to contracts for $3,000 or more. Contractors can simply print and attach the page available here: http://www.maine.gov/ag/index.php?r=protection&s=construction&t The new law also requires a change in the wording of home construction contracts to include "A clear and conspicuous notice that states that consumers are strongly advised to visit the Attorney General's publicly accessible website to gather current information on how to enforce their rights when constructing or repairing their homes, as well as the Attorney General's publicly accessible website address and telephone number."
Accordingly, the Attorney General's Office has revised its model contract. It is available at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=AGOfficeConsumerLaw_Guide&id=27938&v=article . The new law requiring the information is available at: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/ros/lom/lom122nd/16pub601%2D650/pub601%2D650%2D20.htm
For context, the existing Home Construction Contracts Act, which the new law amends, is available here:
Attorney General Rowe believes that the new law will help more people to recognize that home construction and repair contractors are not licensed or regulated in Maine, and that they bear a lot of responsibility for protecting themselves in dealing with contractors. He recommends that consumers:
- Ask for several references and check them;
- Ask local building supply companies for the names of good contractors in the area;
- Ask for a written contract (the law requires one for contracts over $3,000);
- Ask that subcontractors waive in writing their rights to lien your property; and
- Understand how and when loan proceeds will be disbursed, if the project is loan-financed.
CHARLES DOW, DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS & LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, 207-626-8577