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Massachusetts law about home improvement

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on home improvement law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Best bets

For Contractors: Home Improvement Contractor Registration and Renewal, Office of Consumer Affairs. 
Information and resources on registering as a home improvement contractor. Includes forms, guidelines and a lot of information.

For Homeowners: Check if your contractor is a registered Home Improvement Contractor, Office of Consumer Affairs. 
Despite the title, this area includes information on hiring a contractor, required terms in a contract, and more. For any questions about the HIC programs, contact the Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.142A  Regulation of Home Improvement Contractors

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 14  Home Improvement Contractor Arbitration and Guaranty Fund
201 CMR 18  Home Improvement Contractor Registration

Selected cases

Aulson v. Stone, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 702 (2020)
A homeowner was not responsible for a subcontractor's injury 
"where the homeowner did not retain control over the safety protocols and procedures or the operative details of the project but rather the contract allocated them to the general contractor." In addition,  "the homeowner did not direct how the employee used the saw, where the employee plugged in the saw, or the length or the path of the extension cord used to power the saw. The employee alone determined to use the table saw on the ground rather than on a table. ... Under such circumstances, we are doubtful that the homeowner had a duty to remedy the obvious hazard attendant to the employee's decision to misuse his own table saw in the manner alleged." 

Forms

Web sources

Required contract terms in a home improvement contract, Office of Consumer Affairs.
Hiring a contractor for a home improvement job? It must contain certain items.

Suing Home Contractor for Construction Defects in Small Claims Court in Massachusetts, Nolo.com
Explains the process of bringing a contractor to small claims court, as well as other options to consider.

Check if your work requires a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) or a Construction Supervisor Licence (CSL), Office of Consumer Affairs.
Table listing types of work and licenses required.

Print sources

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: July 1, 2020
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