California Homeowners Granted "Home Improvement Bill of Rights"
State Board offers Powerful Guidelines for Repairs and Remodels
SACRAMENTO — The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) today annouced the release of its "Home Improvement Bill of Rights," part of a statewide effort to inform consumers about their rights and responsibilities when hiring and managing contractors.
"Most of the problems we see could be prevented if homeowners knew and exercised their rights," Contractors State License Board Registrar Stephen P. Sands said. "CSLB has the tools and resources homeowners need to take responsibility and prevent problems BEFORE they start the project."
The Home Improvement Bill of Rights includes the right to pay only 10 percent or $1,000 down, whichever is less. A recent CSLB survey showed that half of all California homeowners are not aware they have this right. According to Sands, paying too much in advance of work being completed is common in homeowner-contractor disputes.
Homeowners can download the Home Improvement Bill of Rights on the CSLB Web site, www.cslb.ca.gov, where consumers can also check the status of a contractor's license. Under California law, all contractors who perform work that totals $500 or more (combined labor and materials) must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board.
Homeowners also have the right to receive a written contract that specifies project costs, the down payment, a payment schedule and a completion date. Agreeing on these issues in advance and in writing can help homeowners avoid misunderstandings and disputes. The Contractors State License Board investigates approximately 25,000 complaints a year.
"It's our goal to educate California homeowners, and to offer them the tools and resources they need to navigate the home improvement process," said Sands. "Homeowners who know their rights can absolutely avoid some of the most common - and costly - home improvement headaches."
The CSLB, which operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses 278,000 contractors in California.
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