Will you be performing home improvement contracting work in Massachusetts? If so, you may be required to enter into a written agreement with the homeowner before starting the job. Pursuant to Massachusetts law, every residential home improvement contract for more than $1,000.00 must be in writing and must include certain information (a complete list of requirements can be found in M.G.L. c. 142A sect. 2). Most importantly, the contract must include a clear description of the work that the contractor is hired to perform. It must also contain information about the contractor including his or her full name, street address (not just a post-office box), and the contractor’s Home Improvement Contractor license number. The contract must include the dates on which work will begin and when work will be substantially complete. The contract must contain information about the homeowner’s three day right of rescission, obtaining permits, warranties, and a boldface notice above the signature line advising the homeowner not to sign the contract if there are any blank spaces. Importantly, the contract must include the price for the work to be performed. Once the contract is signed, the contractor must provide a copy to the homeowner.
Obtaining an appropriate, complete written contract will protect you in the event that a dispute arises concerning the home improvement work you perform. The requirements of what must (and what cannot) be included in a residential home improvement contract are listed in M. G. L. c. 142A, § 2. You can review a sample contract which complies with all the basic requirements of the state’s Home Improvement Contactor Law. Please contact Attorney Michael Doherty, Craig Ciechanowski or Edward Cannon at Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P. C. for assistance if you have questions regarding contracts.