All General and Home Improvement Contractors who work and do business in the state of New York must have a license to do so issued by the governing authority. The New York City Department of Buildings issues the General Contractor Registration / License and The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs issues the (HIC) Home Improvement License. Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) are also to required to have a Home Improvement Salesperson's License issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs as well.
Along with licensing, a General Contractor and Home Improvement Contractor must have all the proper insurance coverage at all times. Liability, Workmen's Comp, and Disability. The information below will inform consumers of what is necessary by law to work as a General or Home Improvement Contractor. Professional Services Inc. is fully Licensed and Insured to handle your New York City & Nassau County construction project.
(HIC) Home Improvement Contractor License
(HIC) Home Improvement Contractors License
New York City's Home Improvement Business Law defines a contractor as anyone who "owns, operates, maintains, conducts, controls or transacts a home improvement business" and "undertakes or offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement or solicits any contract therefor," whether or not the contractor is a prime contractor or subcontractor.
In other words, if you receive an offer to build on, repair, or remodel your home or apartment for a fee, you're dealing with a contractor. Whether you own or rent, or if the dwelling is a co-op or a condo, this is the rule. A contractor may be an individual, partnership, or a corporation.
New York City law requires that any person or business that solicits, canvasses, sells, performs, or obtains home improvement work where all costs (including labor, materials, etc.) come to more than $200 total must have an (HIC) Home Improvement Contractors License which is issued by the Department of Consumer Afairs.
(HIC) License -holders undergo a criminal history check, pass a written examination, pay a license fee, and post a bond or contribute to a Trust Fund that gives restitution to consumers. There are thousands of licensed home improvement contractors in New York City, however, there are also thousands of unethical so called contractors who work without a license or insurance. Don't take any chances with your home! A license is no guarantee that a contractor will always engage in proper business conduct, but it gives Consumer Afairs the authority to act on your behalf.
Consumers are often able to get compensation because they hired a licensed contractor. A DCA Trust Fund, based on mandatory contributions from legitimate license-holding contractors, makes these payments possible. To find out if a contractor is licensed, call 3-1-1.
The law defines home improvement as the construction, repair, replacement, remodeling, alteration, conversion, rehabilitation, renovation, modernization, improvement, or addition to any land or building, or that part of the land or building used or designed to be used as a residence or dwelling place.
The homein home improvementrefers to:
. condo units . co-op units . rented apartments . private buildings with four or fewer residential units
This applies to contracts with homeowners who own single or multiple dwellings of up to four residences, as well as tenants, condominium unit holders, and cooperative shareholders who are making improvements to their apartments (regardless of the number of residences or dwelling units in the buildings where they reside).
A contractor cannot:
1. Abandon or fail to perform any home improvement contract.
2. Make any substantial misrepresentation in the solicitation of a home improvement contract.
3. Commit fraud in the execution of a contract, mortgage, promissory note or other document related to the home improvement transaction.
4. Publish any advertisement which contains false, deceptive or misleading representations.
5. Violate the building, sanitary, fire and health laws.
6. Fail to notify The Department of Consumer Affairs of ownership and management changes.
7. Conduct the home improvement business in any name other than the one licensed.
8. Act as an agent for, or advertise, promote or arrange a home loan or a home improvement loan for the homeowner.
What kind of penalties can a contractor be liable for in connection with false representation?
A contractor or salesperson who lies is subject to fines of up to $500 for each separate misrepresentation. In addition, a contract entered into after misrepresentations are made may be declared null and void, and a contractor may be ordered to pay restitution to the homeowner.
What are the penalties for operating a home improvement business without a license?
Any person who owns or operates a home improvement business without a license or after a license is suspended/revoked is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be prosecuted criminally and subject to up to 6 months imprisonment and/or $1,000 in fines. Each violation is a separate offense. In addition, such a person may be prosecuted civilly and faces fines of up to $100 per day for engaging in unlicensed activity or aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed person or business. Finally, DCA can padlock (close down) and confiscate the tools and truck.
(HIS) Home Improvement Salesperson License
The City law describes a home improvement salesperson as anyone who "negotiates or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract" with a property owner, or "solicits or otherwise endeavors to procure in person a home improvement contract from an owner on behalf of a contractor, or for himself or herself should the salesperson be also the contractor."
If you are solicited to hire a contractor, the salesperson doing the soliciting needs a Home Improvement Salesperson license. The contractor paying the salesperson must have a Home Improvement Contractor license. If the salesperson is also the contractor, he or she needs both the Home Improvement Contractor and the Home Improvement Salesperson licenses.
New York City Department Of Buildings Registered General Contractor
GENERAL CONTRACTORS REGISTRATION
The New York City Department of Buildings issues the Photo Identification & registration for general contractors who build one, two, and three family homes. The registration requirement is designed to increase a general contractor's accountability on a job site and protect homebuyers from poor quality construction. General contractors seeking permits to erect one, two, or three family homes must register with the Buildings Department by October 31, 2008. After that date, only general contractors who possess the Photo Identification and are registered with the Building Department will be issued building permits for these types of buildings. Unregistered individuals or entities found building one, two or three family homes after October 31, 2008 will be subject to violations, Stop Work Orders, criminal charges, and the seizure of vehicles and construction tools.
To obtain the Photo Identification and registration number, a general contractor must:
Meet and maintain certain qualifications;
Pass a limited background check;
Provide business and personal records to the Buildings Department; and
Submit original proof of general liability insurance, workers compensation, and disability insurance.
Once registered, general contractors building one, two, and three family homes must provide a warranty to homebuyers that guarantees the structure will be free of certain defects for a period of six years after construction is complete. General contractors who successfully meet the criteria as outlined by the Building Department then become registered and are issued the Building Department Photo Identification, which they must carry with them so that those retaining the contractor's services will be able to clearly verify the contractor is approved and registered to do the work.
New York City Dept. Of Buildings Construction Superintendent License
CONSTRUCTION SUPERINTENDENT LICENSE
The New York City Department of Building's Construction Superintendents License/Registration is designed to promote public safety by ensuring that construction sites are supervised by qualified individuals with the appropriate knowledge of construction and risk-prevention.
A Construction Superintendent must be registered, be available to the Buildings Department at all times, engage in sound and code-compliant construction practices, and maintain a safe work site. The Construction Superintendent is there to ensure accountability at the job site and promote public safety.
Construction superintendents must know their business simply because they carry an overwhelming amount of responsibility on the construction site. All Licensed/Registered Construction Superintendents are held accountable by the Department of Buildings to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to protect the safety of the public and the workers on site.
Basically, having an on site Construction Superintendent on your project ensures that a qualified individual is present to oversee all the trades and maintain safety by following safe construction practices.
Site Safety Certificate
OSHA Site Safety Card
To be Licensed/Registered as a construction superintendent, an individual must meet strict qualifications. They must have proven, and documented, construction work experience as recognized by the New York City Department of Buildings. They must have also endlessly demonstrated their abilities to oversee all trades and run larger construction projects, and they must have all site safety training requirements as outlined by the Department of Buildings. To obtain this license takes years of apprenticeship, training, and work experience. This is to ensure that there is a complete and total understanding of all phases of the construction industry, and that the individual who holds the License, completely understands how to apply all their knowledge in each particular situation.
Lead Paint Laws & Requirements
EPA Requirements For All Contractors
Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.
To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Below are copies of our certification and licensing to meet these requirements.
Contractor Insurance Requirements For New York City
All General and Home Improvement Contractors in New York must carry all the required insurances to protect consumers and themselves. All insurance must be in force at all times. Your contractor should provide you with any required certificates of insurance necessary prior to the commencement of any work. They need to carry the following:
1. General Liability 2. Workmen's Compensation 3. Disability
The Consumer Affairs system will tell you if the contractor has a (HIC) Home Improvement Contractors License, and a Home Improvement Salesperson's License. Please read the instructions on their site on how to enter the search information in order to obtain the correct results.
The Building Department system (BIS) will tell you if a company or individual is registered as a general contractor and if they have all the proper insurances. It will also tell you if they are expired or not.
NOTE: The system is completely accurate. It will tell you if a contractor is active or not active, give you the dates of when their insurance expires, etc. If you are checking for insurance of a contractor on the day of or a few days after his expiration date of his insurance, (expiration date listed in his information) it may show up as expired only because they have not updated the system or the contractor has not provided them with the renewal certificate of his insurance.
You can mention this to the contractor and he can make sure that the Building Department gets the renewal from his Insurance agent and updates the system. DO NOT ACCEPT PHOTO COPIES OF A CONTRACTORS INSURANCE CERTIFICATES UNLESS YOU HAVE VERIFIED HIS OR HER COVERAGE THROUGH THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT SYSTEM, OR YOU OBTAIN A COPY, OR FAX, OF THE INSURANCE CERTIFICATE DIRECTLY FROM THE CONTRACTOR'S INSURANCE BROKERS / AGENTS OFFICE. THIS WILL AVOID PHONY OR FRAUDULENT CERTIFICATES WHERE THE INFORMATION MAY HAVE BEEN ALTERED ON THE PHOTOCOPY OF THE CERTIFICATE TO SHOW THAT A COMPANY HAS INSURANCE, AND IT IS IN FORCE.