Business Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio
By Andrew Randol - August 16, 2018 - Construction
If you are a contractor that performs any work on residential properties, then beware of an obscure law known as the Consumer Sales Practices Act, and its close relative, the Home Solicitation Sales Act (the “Acts”).
Most contractors are completely unaware of the rigorous requirements of the Acts until they receive a lawsuit in the mail from a disgruntled customer demanding their money back, three times the amount any of their damages, plus attorney fees. Suits under the Acts are often crippling and can sink a small or medium sized construction business.
All contractors performing work on residential properties must have a contract that is compliance with the Acts. Unfortunately, the Ohio legislature did not make compliance easy (the requirements are so tedious that even some attorneys get this wrong). Residential construction contracts must contain a number of notices and disclosures; the law even specifies the minimum font size and location of the required notice of the consumers right to rescind the contract within three business days.
Our Columbus construction attorneys can assist you in ensuring all of your contracts are in compliance with the Acts, and that all rules and regulations are being followed. No matter how large or small your operation, from painters, masonry contractors, asphalt pavers, carpenters, or roofers, if you perform work on residential homes, your contract must be compliance with the Acts. Paying competent legal counsel now to draft compliant contracts will save you a ton of money down the road.
Whenever contractors are made aware of the Acts, they often scoff and assume that as long as they do good work, then they will stay out of legal trouble. Unfortunately, contractors can still face stiff penalties simply from not having compliant contracts, regardless of how good their work is or how well the customer was treated.
If you are a contractor who is currently being sued, or being threatened with suit, then hire a Columbus construction attorney as soon as possible. Under the Acts, a “cure offer” can be made that can significantly negate the liability you are exposed to. However, in any suit, this cure offer must be made by a certain procedural deadline and must be done in compliance with the Acts.
Please contact our Columbus business attorneys and ask how we can help shield and defend your business from liability under the Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Sales Act.