Bill Clarifying Language for Time and Materials Contracts Signed by Governor
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG - A bill (HB 1543) to clarify how time and materials contracts may be used under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act of 2008 was signed by the governor October 22, 2014 and became Act 160 of 2014.
The 2008 law requires all home improvement contractors, including landscape contractors, to register with the state attorney general and requires specific language to be used in all home improvement contracts.
The new act requires that the contractor provide an initial cost estimate for a time and materials contract in writing to the owner before any work begins.
The also bill requires that time and materials contracts contain the following language:
(A) The dollar value of the initial cost estimate for the services to be performed under the time and materials provision.
(B) That the cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision may not exceed 10% above the dollar value indicated in the initial cost estimate.
(C) The total potential cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision, including the initial cost estimate and the 10% referenced in clause (B), expressed in actual dollars.
(D) A statement that the cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision shall not be increased over the initial cost estimate plus a 10% increase without a written change order signed by the owner and contractor.
The bill also requires that contractors update their registration information with the attorney general within thirty days if any of it changes.
The bill had required that all registration fees paid by contractors be dedicated to the attorney general for enforcement of the Home Improvement law, but that provision was taken out as the bill moved through the senate.
The new act was effective immediately upon the governor’s signature. The full text of the new act can be downloaded here.
For more information on the 2008 Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, click here.