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File a complaint against a home improvement contractor

Are you having an issue with a home improvement contractor you have either hired or work with? File a complaint.

Home Improvement Contractor Program

The Details   of File a complaint against a home improvement contractor

What you need   for File a complaint against a home improvement contractor

  • A completed complaint form, filed within three years of the date the contract was signed. 
  • The complaint application form should include supporting documentation (please limit the total number of pages submitted to 25):
    • A brief narrative detailing the allegations against the contractor under M.G.L. c. 142A;
    • Page two of the complaint application with the alleged violations circled by the complainant;
    • Copies of checks paid to your contractor;
    • Up to 5 photographs relevant to your complaint; and
    • A copy of the contract between you and the contractor.
    • A copy of the building application (which can be found at your local building department) is suggested.

Your complaint will not be processed if you fail to provide a complete and signed complaint form and the above listed documentation.

  • You must attend the enforcement hearing, if one is scheduled as a result of your complaint

How to file   File a complaint against a home improvement contractor

1.) Fill out the complaint application form.

2.) Submit to this address:

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

Home Improvement Contractor Program

1000 Washington St.

Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118

3.) You will be notified if a hearing is necessary.

More info   for File a complaint against a home improvement contractor

Homeowners should file a complaint with the Office against the contractor, using the HIC Complaint Form even if the contractor is not registered. Filing a complaint against an unregistered contractor will not result in a monetary award for the homeowner, but it may result in disciplinary action being taken against the contractor’s registration after an enforcement hearing.

Complaints are reviewed for violations of the Home Improvement Contractor Act. If violations are identified, the complaint is processed and scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Officer. The complainant will receive a written acknowledgement of the complaint or an email or letter indicating that the complaint was incomplete and requesting any required, missing documents. The contractor will receive written notification that a complaint has been filed along with a copy of the complaint and the supporting documentation. He or she will have 30 days to provide a written response to the complaint. Likewise, the municipal building official in the city or town in which the work was performed will receive notification of the complaint. Once the signed complaint is received with the proper supporting documents, OCABR will schedule a hearing on the complaint and notify all parties. OCABR generally schedules hearings 40-60 days from the date the completed complaint was received to allow evidence to be submitted and the contractor to respond.

Any communication between the Hearing Officer and the complainant/homeowner or contractor/respondent is strictly prohibited. All inquiries relative to a pending case shall be in writing, copied to the opposing party, and sent to the Program Coordinator to be given to the Hearing Officer for review and written response.

Due to the volume of complaints received by OCABR, the Hearing Officer will only reschedule a hearing in extenuating circumstances, and only after a written request is submitted at least 10 days or more before the scheduled hearing date. All requests for continuances must be made in writing and sent to the attention of the Program Coordinator and state the basis for the request. The request must be copied to the opposing party. The Hearing Officer will make a written determination on the request which will be sent to both the homeowner and contractor.

In most cases, the complainant/homeowner must attend the hearing for it to proceed. The complainant/homeowner is invited to attend the hearing as OCABR's witness only. Contractors may represent themselves or choose to be represented by an attorney. Both the complainant(s)/homeowner(s) and contractor/respondent will be given the opportunity to provide testimony on the facts, as included, in the complaint and answer questions posed by the Hearing Officer. These hearings will generally last no more than one and one half hours, depending on the complexity of the case. The Hearing Officer will take all testimony into consideration, and will issue a written decision within 30 business days following the hearing, which may include sanctions against the contractor/respondent. The hearing Officer will not issue a decision on the day of the hearing. The contractor/respondent may appeal the decision, while a complainant/homeowner cannot.

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