Every year countless home improvement projects result in disputes between homeowners and the contractors they hire to perform work. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Act, M.G.L. c. 142A (the “HICA”) was enacted in 1992 to protect homeowners in their dealings with home improvement contractors. The HICA created a guaranty fund which can be used to reimburse homeowners for certain losses caused by contractors who go bankrupt or cannot be located to collect a judgment. Also, the HICA establishes a program which allows homeowners to participate in arbitration to resolve disputes with their contractors.
The HICA only applies to certain types of work and does not cover commercial contracting work or new construction. To obtain the benefits of the HICA, the improvement work at issue must have been performed by a registered home improvement contractor. Homeowners can check the registration status of a home improvement contractor by visiting the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs website. If you wish to learn your rights in a dispute with a home improvement contractor, please contact Attorney Michael Doherty, Craig Ciechanowski or Edward Cannon at Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P. C.