The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has been cracking down on non-compliant home improvement contractors and on Wednesday issued Notices of Violation to 26 contractors, including Tri-State Construction. The state is seeking a total of $251,602 in civil penalties and consumer restitution, based on complaints and referrals by consumers across New Jersey.
“The great majority of New Jersey’s registered home improvement contractors are proud to provide honest, quality service to their clients,”
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.
“But the fact that home improvement-related issues
remain the number one consumer complaint in New Jersey
means that this enforcement action is needed
to deter those contractors who violate our consumer protection laws.”
In addition, the Division is citing all 26 contractors for various violations of New Jersey’s Contractors’ Registration Act. For example, 16 are cited for soliciting home improvement work despite having failed to register with the Division, as required by law. Others are cited for violations such as failure to provide consumers with detailed, written contracts, which are required by law for all home improvement contracts costing more than $500. The State has assessed a total of $97,750 in civil penalties against the 26 contractors, in addition to the assessed consumer restitution.
“Including the contractors we’re citing today, thus far in 2014,
the Division of Consumer Affairs has ordered a total of 95 allegedly unregistered and/or otherwise non-compliant contractors to pay more than
$1.2 million in restitution to New Jersey consumers, and $374,000
in civil penalties,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve C. Lee. “We will continue these enforcement actions throughout the year
in order to protect consumers and ensure a fair playing field
for New Jersey’s many honest contractors.”
Each of the contractors received a Notice of Violation. They have the opportunity to contest the alleged violation, or the opportunity to correct the violation by desisting from any practices in violation of the law, paying a civil penalty and/or consumer restitution where required, and submitting an application for registration, if not registered.
The full list of those cited today are as follows:
Above All Average Painting Company
Above All Average Construction
- Angel Berdugo
Elegant Home Remodeling
- Anthony Wyatt
Anthony's Custom Exteriors
- Ermal Rustemlliu
- Fritzky Contracting LLC
- G. Lee Sales, Inc.
Tuxedo Park, NY
- Gualdino Santos Elizabeth
- Kevin Matthew Harrison
Arias Restoration and Renovation
- Mark Walton
All Exteriors Roofing & Siding
- Michael McNamara
- Myck General Contractors,LLC
- Nicholas Marino
Pools! Pools! Pools!
- Robert Haines
Egg Harbor City
- Salahudin Abdullah
New Day Reconstruction
- Stephen B. Hensler
- At Home Renovations & Repairs Company, L.L.C.
- Carmen's Anthony, Inc.
Anthony L. Falcone General Contracting
- Garry N Moore
- GSR Masonry & Contracting Inc.
- Hercules Contracting Limited Liability Company
- Keith Tanis
- Norwestar Services LLC
- Paul Iski
Gutter Up Construction Co.
- Smith Design and Construction Limited Liability Company
- Straight Light Painting & Construction Limited Liability Company
- Learn about any contractor before deciding to hire them. It is ideal to work with a contractor who is recommended by people you know. It also is advisable to ask the contractor for references and speak with those references about the contractor's work.
- Contact the Division of Consumer Affairs to learn if the contractor is duly registered to perform home improvement work in New Jersey, and learn whether the contractor has been the subject of consumer complaints and/or legal action by the Division. You can call the Division at 800-242-5846 or use the Division's website.
- Before hiring the contractor, demand a copy of the contractor's liability insurance policy and contact the insurer to learn whether the policy is valid.
- Obtain a written contract. Contracts for home improvement projects costing $500 or more must be in writing. They must include the legal name, business address, and registration number of the contractor as well as a start date, completion date, description of the work to be done, and the total price.
- Make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing, and that the contract states the name brands or quality/grades of the materials to be used.
- Ensure that all applicable construction permits are obtained by the contractor, from the appropriate municipality.
- Remember that it is customary not to pay for the entire project in advance. The general practice is to pay for one-third in advance, one-third halfway through, and one-third upon completion.
- Additional tips can be found in the Division's Consumer Brief on "Hiring Home Improvement Contractors."
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint online with the State Division of Consumer Affairs or by calling 1-800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200.