- An Ocean County contractor allegedly violated
the State's Home Improvement Contractors'
Registration Act (HICRA) by failing to register
and knowingly creating fraudulent registration
data to deceive consumers and municipal
code enforcement officials, Attorney General
Stuart Rabner and Acting Consumer Affairs
Director Stephen B. Nolan announced today.
State's six-count complaint against AZ Renovations
L.L.C. and its owner, Paul A. Miller, is
the first action taken against a home improvement
contractor for allegedly creating and using
a fictitious registration.
defendant not only broke the law by not
registering but deceived consumers by misrepresenting
that he in fact was registered,” Attorney
General Rabner said. “We believe this
contractor knew about his legal requirements
and instead opted to commit fraud.”
Renovations, also known as AZ Renovations
and Construction, maintains business addresses
in Freehold and Lakewood and has been in
business since August 2005.
HICRA required all home improvement contractors
to submit initial registration applications
by December 31, 2005. A registration form
for AZ Renovations was submitted to Consumer
Affairs in late March 2006. Consumer Affairs
requested additional information from Miller
to complete the registration process but
that information has not been provided to
date and the company remains unregistered.
unregistered, Miller allegedly attempted
to obtain a building permit from a municipal
official by falsely representing that he
was a registered home improvement contractor.
the HICRA, unregistered home improvement
contractors cannot legally obtain permits
from local construction code officials nor
can these contractors engage in the business
of home improvement.
Renovations allegedly stated on its web
site that it was a registered home improvement
contractor and used a fabricated registration
number on its web site. The fabricated registration
number also was used on consumer contracts
and company vehicles.
the company's contracts did not contain
information about the date when work was
to commence, the date when work was to be
completed, proper notification of a customer's
right to cancel the contract and the toll-free
number to contact Consumer Affairs to file
a complaint. All of this information is
required in contracts under the HICRA.
Affairs began its investigation into AZ
Renovations after one consumer filed a complaint
after paying for work that was never started.
Division has little tolerance for contractors
who would deceive consumers and municipal
officials through false registration numbers.
We are committed to enforcing the law so
consumers - who can spend thousands of dollars
on a home improvement project - are protected,"
said Acting Director Nolan.
added that other AZ Renovations customers
who believe they have been victimized can
file a complaint with Consumer Affairs by
calling 1-800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200.
addition to consumer restitution, the state's
complaint seeks civil penalties and reimbursement
of its costs. The initial violation of the
HICRA carries a penalty of not more than
$10,000, with each additional violation
carrying a penalty of not more than $20,000.
Attorney General Jody A. Carbone is representing
the state in this matter.