Illinois residents who are looking to remodel or make repairs on their home must always be diligent about the contractors or repairmen they choose to use. When work occurs on the residence that is substandard, delayed or unfinished, homeowners can feel helpless and frustrated if they are unaware of what steps to take to either seek compensation or make demands that the work be redone or completed.
When a contractor fails to use a written contract or comply with existing law, it is essential to know not only what consumer rights the homeowner has but also how the courts have interpreted those laws to protect consumers. Getting exceptional legal representation serving Northern Illinois for guidance with construction liability claims is an important first step.
Consumer rights under Illinois law
The Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act contains specific requirements with which the contractor must comply before beginning a construction project. Under this law, the contractor must provide a disclosure brochure, “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights”, to the client before beginning work, and include a form the client signs acknowledging receipt.
A repair or remodeling contract must fulfill certain requirements under law. A written contract is required for jobs that will cost $1,000 or more. For smaller jobs, a written contract is not required, but the contractor or repairman must still provide the disclosure brochure to the customer and should also include a detailed written quote.
If the contractor does not provide the disclosure or comply with the legal requirements for a repair and remodeling contract, the courts will likely interpret their actions as intentional deception by omission. The homeowner who can prove that they have suffered damages as a result of a violation of the legal requirements by the contractor may pursue a claim for damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.
Such omissions trigger violations not only of the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, but also the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, under which the homeowner may pursue additional civil remedies against the contractor.
Thus, getting the appropriate contract forms and disclosure documents is essential for home remodeling and repair contractors. Without the proper paperwork, a dissatisfied client may seek damages against the contractor not only for omissions, nonconformance or defects, and may also sue the contractor of a corporation personally for consumer fraud violations.