Consumer Affairs issues warnings to local contractors
MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that Consumer Affairs is stepping up enforcement efforts against unregistered and noncompliant home improvement contractors.
The Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs in coordination with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs issued warnings last week to 29 local home improvement contractors who have not registered or who have not placed their registration numbers on their commercial vehicles. Those in violation are being given 30 days to comply with state law.
The New Jersey Home Improvement Contractors Registration Act requires all contractors doing business in this state to register with the state and obtain a registration number that begins with “13VH.” To register, contractors must provide proof of liability insurance and disclose their legitimate business address. The registration number must be displayed on all contracts, advertisements and commercial vehicles.
“If you have received a warning notice on your vehicle, you must respond to the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs within 30 days,” Hughes said.
Working as a contractor and not being registered is a fourth-degree crime. Each contractor receiving the warning has the opportunity to contest the alleged violation. Violators of the Home Improvement Contractors Registration Act are subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for the second and subsequent violations.
Complaints against home improvement contractors remain the No. 1 complaint category in Mercer County. Consumers who believe they’ve been scammed or would like information on the complaint history of a business should contact the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs at 609-989-6671 or the State Division at 1-800-242-5846.