For Immediate Release - September 29, 2016

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Introduces Online Renewal for Home Improvement Contractors

Boston, MA (September 29, 2016) – The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation today announced the next step in its goal to modernize and simplify the Home Improvement Contractor  registration requirement with the introduction of online registration renewal capabilities. 

“With the online renewal option, we’re making it easier for contractors who are complying with the law, but who might be at risk of letting their registrations expire,” said Undersecretary John Chapman. “Allowing contractors to pay with a credit card and renew their registrations online every two years just makes sense. It ensures their adherence to the law without costing them the expense of traveling into Boston to renew or sending their renewal application through the mail.”

The online renewal option builds upon the Office’s recent success in creating a more efficient and business-friendly Home Improvement Contractor Program. In the spring, the Office held an awareness campaign educating contractors and consumers about the law, and last month introduced its online registration portal for first-time registrants to the program. As a result of these efforts new contractor registrations are up 24 percent, overall program revenue has increased 40 percent, and Guaranty Fund revenue is up 52 percent year to date.

The new electronic form can be found at https://hic.oca.state.ma.us/HIC/Account/ExistingConRegister.  

Registrations must be renewed every two years. Contractors can now also create an account and update their registration information online.

The Home Improvement Contractor law (M.G.L. c. 142A) requires individuals performing residential contracting on an existing one to four unit, owner-occupied residential building to be registered as a home improvement contractor. The law also established an arbitration program for resolving disputes between homeowners and contractors and a Guaranty Fund to compensate consumers up to $10,000 for unpaid judgments against contractors. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation registers contractors and facilitates and administers the arbitration program and Guaranty Fund.

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 on Twitter @Mass Consumer.