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Boston, MA — The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation today announced the introduction of an online registration portal for first-time registrants of the Home Improvement Contractor program.
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.
“In the more than twenty years since this requirement became law, contractors haven’t been able to register online,” said Undersecretary John Chapman. “I believe this was a contributing factor to the low compliance rates of the past. This portal, along with the ability to pay required fees by credit card, are significant steps toward reaching our goal of a fully compliant industry. By continuing to provide efficient and cost effective means to adhere with the tenets of the law, we are confident those goals can be met.”
The new electronic form can be found at https://hic.oca.state.ma.us/HIC/Account/Register. Registration must be renewed every two years. Online renewal is anticipated for fall 2016.
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.