– Consumer Affairs investigators who
used a vacant Morris County house as a residence
in need of major renovations are issuing
Notices of Violations to twelve home improvement
contractors for violations of the State’s
Contractors’ Registration Act (CRA).
undercover operation took place over the
summer at a vacant Morris Plains home that
the State’s Division of Consumer Affairs
had obtained through the assistance of Morris
County. Undercover investigators contacted
suspected unregistered contractors to come
to the residence, inspect it, and provide
estimates for various improvements. The
contractors were identified through print
and online advertisements.
proposed home improvement work included
driveway repaving, basement renovations
and waterproofing, installation of new wood
floors, bathroom renovations, masonry repairs,
and installation of a new fence. The estimates
for projects ranged from $1,180 to $14,000.
CRA, which took effect on January 1, 2006,
requires all contractors performing residential
work to register annually with the Division
of Consumer Affairs. In order to register,
contractors are required to disclose where
their business is located, provide proof
they have insurance, and use contracts containing
specific consumer protection language for
all projects costing more than $500.
contractors’ registration law took
effect nearly five years ago, so ignorance
of the law is no excuse,” Attorney
General Paula T. Dow said. “Homeowners
can spend thousands of dollars on home repairs
and renovations and I am committed to rooting
out phony contractors and unregistered contractors
who attempt to rip off consumers.”
undercover operation resulted in eight home
improvement contractors receiving Notices
of Violations for being unregistered. An
additional four contractors are being cited
for being registered but not displaying
their registration numbers to the public
as required. Two other contractors are receiving
warning letters for minor violations of
throughout the state continue to fall prey
to home improvement contractors operating
outside the law,” said Thomas R. Calcagni,
Acting Director of the Division of the Consumer
Affairs. “Knowing that the company
is legitimately registered helps to ensure
that it’s not a fly-by-night operation,
that it’s properly insured, and that
there’s someone accountable should
the repair or renovations go wrong.”
are approximately 43,000 registered home
improvement contractors statewide.
following eight contractors are receiving
a Notice of Violation for being unregistered.
Each is being assessed a $5,000 civil penalty,
with the option of having the penalty reduced
to $1,000 if a registration application
is submitted by December 3.
Costello Sealcoating and Paving Mine Hill,
Concrete/Wyatt Concrete Hillsborough,
Realmonte Pine Brook, N.J.
Neil’s Custom Masonry address being
Handyman Mike Rotolo Warren, N.J.
Ted’s Home Improvement Services
Park Ridge, N.J.
Cacciola Iron Works Paterson, N.J.
following four contractors are registered
but are receiving Notices of Violation for
failing to display their Home Improvement
Registration number on contracts, in advertisements,
and/or on their vehicles, as legally required.
Each is being assessed a $500 civil penalty.
Bergen-Essex B&E Contractors Nutley,
Tom Dakake d/b/a Accurate Contractors
Deegan Roofing Co. Plainfield, N.J.
Water Plus, Inc.
(d/b/a American A-1 Waterproofing) Haledon,
following two contractors are registered
and are being issued warning letters for
using incomplete or incorrect registration
Jersey Partners/East Rutherford Roofing
Little Falls, N.J.
Castillo Roofing Plus
(d/b/a/ Castillo Home Improvements LLC)
of these contractors have the option to
contest the Notice of Violation by requesting
an administrative hearing with the Division
of Consumer Affairs.
Division has an online database of registered
home improvement contractors that the public
can access to verify whether a contractor
is registered. The database can be found
Consumers can also call 973-273-8090
to access the Division’s license verification
are asked to report any suspected unregistered
home improvement contractor to the Division
via its web site, /www.njconsumeraffairs.gov
or by calling 1-800-242-5846
(toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.