For Immediate Release - December 10, 2013

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Announces Disciplinary Actions against Home Improvement Contractors

BOSTON – The state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) today announced disciplinary actions against the following Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) and businesses:

Brendin Lange Design & Development, LLC, Sutton(HIC Registration No. 163853): OCABR issued a final order assessing the company a $ 1,350 administrative fine. The fine was the result of a determination that the contractor failed to perform the construction of an addition, materially disregarded project plans, and failed to notify OCABR of a change of address within 30 days.  It was also determined that the contractor entered into a contract that did not contain legally required terms, such as the full name and HIC registration number of the contractor and mandatory consumer protection language. The contractor did not attend the hearing; however, evidence showed that he failed to complete the addition by leaving roof work, vinyl siding, door and window installation incomplete.

Brendin Lange Design & Development, LLC, Sutton (HIC Registration No. 163853): In response to a second homeowner complaint, OCABR issued a final order assessing the company a $3,300 administrative fine.  The fine was as the result of a determination that the contractor failed to perform roof repairs and materially disregarded project plans; made misrepresentations in the procurement of a contract; failed to obtain a building permit as required by law; and requested a deposit greater than one-third of the contract price from the homeowner. The company also entered into a contract that did not contain legally required terms, such as the full name and HIC registration number of the contractor, the date on which the work under the contract was scheduled to begin and to be completed, the signature of all parties, and mandatory consumer protection language. The contractor did not attend the hearing; however, evidence showed that the contractor accepted from the homeowner a 40% deposit, did not strip the existing roof before installing new shingles, and failed to install ice and water shield as required under the terms of the contract.

Donald Chaffee, d/b/a Donald Chaffee III Custom Building & Remodeling, East Otis (HIC Registration No. 167960): OCABR issued a final hearing order assessing Chaffee a $2,550 administrative fine. The fine resulted from a determination that Chaffee failed to perform a roof repair without justification; published advertising that did not contain the assigned HIC registration number; and accepted a deposit greater than one-third of the total contract price.  Chaffee also executed a residential services contract that did not contain legally required terms, including but not limited to the dates on which work was scheduled to begin and to be completed; a statement of the homeowner’s three-day right to cancel; or a statement in ten point bold font directly above the signature line warning the complainant not to sign the contract if there are any blank spaces.. Chaffee did not attend the hearing; however, evidence showed that he accepted a 50% deposit from the homeowner but failed to begin work.

Joseph Baranowski, d/b/a V.S.R., Saugus (HIC Registration No. 159091): OCABR issued a final hearing order, suspending Baranowski’s registration indefinitely. The suspension was the result of a determination that the contractor failed to pay OCABR the balance of an administrative penalty assessed against him in a previous hearing order that resolved a homeowner’s complaint.

Larry Johnson, d/b/a The Roof Doctor, Quincy (Unregistered): OCABR issued a final hearing order assessing Johnson a $3,000 administrative fine. The fine was the result of a determination that Johnson operated as a home improvement contractor without a registration and executed a residential services contract that did not contain the legally required terms, including but not limited to the contractor’s address; the dates on which work was scheduled to begin and to be completed; a time schedule of payments; a statement of the homeowner’s three-day right to cancel; or a statement in ten point bold font directly above the signature line warning the homeowner not to sign the contract if there are any blank spaces. Johnson did not attend the hearing; however, evidence showed that he accepted a $1,300 payment from a homeowner in exchange for a promise to perform a roof replacement and that he did not possess an HIC registration number.

Luis Andres Perez, Lexington (HIC Registration No. 137162): OCABR issued a final hearing order assessing Perez a $200 administrative fine. The fine was the result of a determination that the contractor executed a residential services contract that did not contain legally required terms, including his HIC registration number.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation oversees the Home Improvement Contractor registration, complaint, and arbitration programs. Contractors performing work on a one- to four-family owner-occupied residence must be registered as an HIC. Currently, there are over 25,000 active HICs registered to do business in Massachusetts.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.