Public Act 91-0230

HB1177 Enrolled                                LRB9103438KSgc

    AN ACT concerned with home repair and remodeling fraud.

    Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section  1.  Short  title.   This Act may be cited as the
Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

    Section 5.  Policy.  It is  the  public  policy  of  this
State  that in order to safeguard the life, health, property,
and public welfare of its  citizens,  the  business  of  home
repair  and  remodeling  is  a  matter  affecting  the public
interest.  The  General  Assembly  recognizes  that  improved
communications  and  accurate representations between persons
engaged in the business of making home repairs or  remodeling
and their consumers will increase consumer confidence, reduce
the  likelihood  of  disputes,  and  promote  fair and honest
practices in that business in this State.

    Section 10.  Definitions.  As used in this Act:
    "Home repair and remodeling" means the fixing, replacing,
altering, converting, modernizing, improving, or making of an
addition to any real property primarily designed or used as a
residence other than maintenance, service, or  repairs  under
$500.      "Home   repair   and   remodeling"   includes  the
construction, installation, replacement,  or  improvement  of
driveways,  swimming  pools,  porches,  kitchens,  bathrooms,
basements, chimneys, chimney liners, garages, fences, fallout
shelters, central air conditioning, central heating, boilers,
furnaces, electrical wiring, sewers, plumbing fixtures, storm
doors,  windows,  roofs,  awnings,  and other improvements to
structures within the residence or upon the land adjacent  to
the residence.  "Home repair and remodeling" does not include
the  sale,  installation, cleaning, or repair of carpets; the
repair, installation, replacement, or connection of any  home
appliance   including,   but   not   limited  to,  disposals,
refrigerators, ranges, garage door  openers,  televisions  or
television  antennas, washing machines, telephones, hot water
heaters, satellite  dishes,  or  other  appliances  when  the
persons  replacing,  installing, repairing, or connecting the
home appliance are employees or agents of the  merchant  that
sold  the  home  appliance  or  sold new products of the same
type; or landscaping.
    "Person" means any individual, partnership,  corporation,
business, trust, or other legal entity.
    "Residence"  means  a single-family home or dwelling or a
multiple-family  home  or  dwelling  containing  6  or  fewer
apartments, condominiums, town  houses,  or  dwelling  units,
used  or intended to be used by occupants as dwelling places.
This  Act  does  not  apply  to  original   construction   of
single-family   or  multi-family  residences  or  repairs  to
dwellings containing more than 6 apartments or family units.

    Section 15.  Written contract; costs  enumerated.   Prior
to initiating home repair or remodeling work for over $1,000,
a person engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling
shall  furnish  to  the  customer  for  signature  a  written
contract  or work order that states the total cost, including
parts and materials listed with reasonable particularity  and
any  charge for an estimate.  In addition, the contract shall
state the business name and address of the person engaged  in
the  business  of  home  repair or remodeling.  If the person
engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling  uses  a
post office box or mail receiving service or agent to receive
home   repair  or  remodeling  business  correspondence,  the
contract also shall state the residence address of the person
engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling.
    Section  20.  Consumer  rights  brochure.   (a)  For  any
contract over $1,000, any person engaging in the business  of
home  repair  and remodeling shall provide to its customers a
copy of the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet
prior to the execution of  any  home  repair  and  remodeling
contract.     The   consumer   shall   sign   and   date   an
acknowledgment  form entitled "Consumer Rights Acknowledgment
Form" that states: "I, the homeowner, have received from  the
contractor a copy of the pamphlet entitled 'Home Repair: Know
Your  Consumer  Rights.'"   The  contractor  or  his  or  her
representative  shall  also  sign and date the acknowledgment
form, which includes the name and address of the home  repair
and remodeling business.  The acknowledgment form shall be in
duplicate  and  incorporated into the pamphlet.  The original
acknowledgment form shall be retained by the  contractor  and
the  duplicate  copy shall be retained within the pamphlet by
the consumer.
    (b)  For any contract for $1,000  or  under,  any  person
engaging  in the business of home repair and remodeling shall
provide to its customers a copy of  the  "Home  Repair:  Know
Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet.  No written acknowledgment of
receipt  of the pamphlet is required for a contract of $1,000
or under.
    (c)  The pamphlet must be  a  separate  document,  in  at
least  12 point type, and in legible ink.  The pamphlet shall
read as follows:

           "HOME REPAIR: KNOW YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS

    As you plan for your home repair/improvement project,  it
is  important  to ask the right questions in order to protect
your investment.  The tips in this fact  sheet  should  allow
you  to  protect yourself and minimize the possibility that a
misunderstanding may occur.

                 AVOIDING HOME REPAIR FRAUD
Please use extreme caution when confronted with the following
warning signs of a potential scam:
    (1)  Door-to-door salespersons with no local  connections
who  offer to do home repair work for substantially less than
the market price.
    (2)  Solicitations for repair work from  a  company  that
lists  only a telephone number or a post-office box number to
contact, particularly if it is an out-of-state company.
    (3)  Contractors who fail to provide customers references
when requested.
    (4)  Persons offering to inspect your home for free.   Do
not  admit anyone into your home unless he or she can present
authentic identification establishing  his  or  her  business
status.   When in doubt, do not hesitate to call the worker's
employer to verify his or her identity.
    (5)  Contractors demanding cash payment for a job or  who
ask  you  to  make a check payable to a person other than the
owner or company name.
    (6)  Offers from a contractor to drive you to the bank to
withdraw funds to pay for the work.

                          CONTRACTS

    (1)  Get all estimates in writing.
    (2)  Do  not  be  induced  into  signing  a  contract  by
high-pressure sales tactics.
    (3)  Never sign a contract with blank spaces or  one  you
do  not  fully  understand.   If you are taking out a loan to
finance the work, do not sign the contract before your lender
approves the loan.
    (4)  Remember, you have 3 business days from the time you
sign your contract to cancel any contract if the sale is made
at your home.  The contractor  cannot  deprive  you  of  this
right  by initiating work, selling your contract to a lender,
or any other tactic.
    (5)  If the contractor does business under a  name  other
than  the contractor's real name, the business must either be
incorporated or registered under the  Assumed  Business  Name
Act.   Check  with  the  Secretary  of  State  to  see if the
business is incorporated or with the county clerk to  see  if
the  business  has registered under the Assumed Business Name
Act.
    (6)  Homeowners should check with local and county  units
of  government  to  determine  if  permits or inspections are
required.
    (7)  Determine whether the contractor will guarantee  his
or her work and products.
    (8)  Determine  whether  the  contractor  has  the proper
insurance.
    (9)  Do not sign a  certificate  of  completion  or  make
final payment until the work is done to your satisfaction.
    (10)  Remember,   homeowners  should  know  who  provides
supplies and labor for  any  work  performed  on  your  home.
Suppliers  and  subcontractors  have  a  right to file a lien
against your property if the general contractor fails to  pay
them.    To  protect your property, request lien waivers from
the general contractor.

          BASIC TERMS TO BE INCLUDED IN A CONTRACT

    (1)  Contractor's  full  name,  address,  and   telephone
number.   Illinois  law  requires  that  persons selling home
repair and improvement services provide their customers  with
notice  of  any change to their business name or address that
comes about prior  to  the  agreed  dates  for  beginning  or
completing the work.
    (2)  A description of the work to be performed.
    (3)  Starting and estimated completion dates.
    (4)  Total cost of work to be performed.
    (5)  Schedule  and  method  of  payment,  including  down
payment, subsequent payments, and final payment.
    (6)  A  provision  stating the grounds for termination of
the contract by either party. However, the homeowner must pay
the contractor for work completed.  If the  contractor  fails
to  commence  or  complete  work  within  the contracted time
period, the homeowner may cancel and may  be  entitled  to  a
refund of any down payment or other payments made towards the
work, upon written demand by certified mail.
    Homeowners  should  obtain  a copy of the signed contract
and keep it in a safe place for reference as needed.

 IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN DEFRAUDED OR YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
    If you think you have been defrauded by a  contractor  or
have  any questions, please bring it to the attention of your
State's Attorney or the Illinois Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Toll-Free Numbers
Carbondale         (800) 243-0607
Springfield        (800) 243-0618
Chicago            (800) 386-5438".

    Section 25.  Insurance required.  Any person  engaged  in
the  business  of home repair and remodeling shall obtain and
maintain in full force and effect during the operation of the
business public liability and property  damage  insurance  in
the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence
of bodily injury, $50,000 per occurrence for property damage,
and in the amount of $10,000 per occurrence for improper home
repair  or  remodeling  not  in  conformance  with applicable
State, county, or municipal building codes, unless the person
has a net worth of not less than $1,000,000 as determined  on
the  basis  of  the person's most recent financial statement,
prepared within 13 months.

    Section 30.  Unlawful  acts.   It  is  unlawful  for  any
person engaged in the business of home repairs and remodeling
to remodel or make repairs or charge for remodeling or repair
work  before  obtaining  a signed contract or work order over
$1,000.  This conduct is unlawful but is  not  exclusive  nor
meant  to  limit  other  kinds of methods, acts, or practices
that may be unfair or deceptive.

    Section 35.  Enforcement.
    (a)  The Attorney General or the State's Attorney of  any
county  in  this State may bring an action in the name of the
people of this State  against  any  person  to  restrain  and
prevent any pattern or practice violation of this Act. In the
enforcement  of this Act, the Attorney General or the State's
Attorney may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance from
anyone engaged in any conduct, act,  or  practice  deemed  in
violation  of  this  Act. Failure to perform the terms of any
such  assurance  constitutes  prima  facie  evidence   of   a
violation of this Act.
    (b)  All  remedies,  penalties,  and authority granted to
the Attorney General or the State's Attorney of any county in
this State by  the  Consumer  Fraud  and  Deceptive  Business
Practices   Act   shall  be  available  to  him  or  her  for
enforcement of this Act, and any violation of this Act  shall
constitute  a  violation  of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act.

    Section 900. The Consumer Fraud  and  Deceptive  Business
Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2Z as follows:

    (815 ILCS 505/2Z) (from Ch. 121 1/2, par. 262Z)
    Sec.  2Z.   Violations  of  other  Acts.   Any person who
knowingly violates the Automotive Repair Act, the Home Repair
and Remodeling  Act,  the  Dance  Studio  Act,  the  Physical
Fitness   Services   Act,  the  Hearing  Instrument  Consumer
Protection  Act,  the  Illinois  Union  Label  Act,  the  Job
Referral and Job Listing Services  Consumer  Protection  Act,
the  Travel  Promotion  Consumer  Protection  Act, the Credit
Services Organizations Act, the Automatic  Telephone  Dialers
Act,  the  Pay-Per-Call Services Consumer Protection Act, the
Telephone Solicitations Act, the Illinois Funeral  or  Burial
Funds  Act,  the  Cemetery Care Act, or the Pre-Need Cemetery
Sales Act commits an unlawful practice within the meaning  of
this Act.
(Source:  P.A.  89-72,  eff.  12-31-95;  89-615, eff. 8-9-96;
90-426, eff. 1-1-98.)

    Section 999.  Effective  date.   This  Act  takes  effect
January 1, 2000.

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