- The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation ("OCABR") regulates the registration of contractors performing improvements or renovations on detached one to four family homes. Prior to performing work on such homes, a contractor must be registered as a Home Improvement Contractor ("HIC").
The Home Improvement Contractor Law, Chapter 142A of the Massachusetts General Laws, requires any contractor performing work on an owner-occupied, single-family or owner-occupied, multi-family home (with a maximum of four units) to be registered with Office of Consumer Affairs.
If you hire an unregistered contractor and a problem arises with the contractor's work, you are not afforded the remedies available under the HIC law nor are you able to collect monies through the Guaranty Fund administered by the Office of Consumer Affairs.
The Home Improvement Contractor Law, Chapter 142A of the Massachusetts General Laws, establishes a Guaranty Fund, which is a fund of last resort for consumers who have an unpaid final judgment against a contractor. The Fund may reimburse consumers up to $10,000 of their actual Loss. After a consumer is paid from the Guaranty Fund, the responsible registered contractor is obligated to reimburse the Fund with interest within 30 days. Failure to repay the Fund may result in administrative fines, revocation of the contractor's registration, and possible referral to the Attorney General for further prosecution, including civil and criminal penalties.
- There are at least four different programs and various agencies that handle complaints against residential home improvement contractors. Some of these programs have filing deadlines, so please read this sheet in its entirety.
- A complaint may be filed with the OCABR against any HIC registrant. All applications and forms, including the complaint application, are available below.
Checklist for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor