13:45A-16.1 Definitions
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context
indicates otherwise.

“Home improvement” means the remodeling, altering, painting, repairing, or modernizing of residential or noncommercial
property or the making of additions thereto, and includes, but is not limited to, the construction, installation, replacement,
improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, patios, landscaping, fences, porches, windows,
doors, cabinets, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements and basement waterproofing, fire protection devices, security
protection devices, central heating and air conditioning equipment, water softeners, heaters, and purifiers, solar heating
or water systems, insulation installation, aluminum siding, wall-to-wall carpeting or attached or inlaid floor coverings, and
other changes, repairs, or improvements made in or on, attached to or forming a part of the residential or noncommercial
property, but does not include the construction of a new residence. The term extends to the conversion of existing commercial
structures into residential or noncommercial property and includes any of the above activities performed under emergency

“Home improvement contract” means an oral or written agreement between a seller and an owner of residential or
noncommercial property, or a seller and a tenant or lessee of residential or noncommercial property, if the tenant or lessee is
to be obligated for the payment of home improvements made in, to, or upon such property, and includes all agreements under
which the seller is to perform labor or render services for home improvements, or furnish materials in connection therewith.
“Residential or non-commercial property” means a structure used, in whole or in substantial part, as a home or place of
residence by any natural person, whether or not a single or multi-unit structure, and that part of the lot or site on which it is
situated and which is devoted to the residential use of the structure, and includes all appurtenant structures.
“Sales representative” means a person employed by or contracting with a seller for the purpose of selling home improvements.
“Seller” means a person engaged in the business of making or selling home improvements and includes corporations,
partnerships, associations and any other form of business organization or entity, and their officers, representatives, agents
and employees.
13:45A-16.2 Unlawful practices
(a) Without limiting any other practices which may be unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.,
utilization by a seller of the following acts and practices involving the sale, attempted sale, advertisement or performance
of home improvements shall be unlawful hereunder:
1. Model home representations: Misrepresent or falsely state to a prospective buyer that the buyer’s residential or
noncommercial property is to serve as a “model” or “advertising job”, or use any other prospective buyer lure
to mislead the buyer into believing that a price reduction or other compensation will be received by reason of
such representations;
2. Product and material representations: Misrepresent directly or by implication that products or materials to be
used in the home improvement:
i. Need no periodic repainting, finishing, maintenance or other service;
ii. Are of a specific or well-known brand name, or are produced by a specific manufacturer or exclusively
distributed by the seller;
iii. Are of a specific size, weight, grade or quality, or possess any other distinguishing characteristics or features;
iv. Perform certain functions or substitute for, or are equal in performance to, other products or materials;
v. Meet or exceed municipal, state, federal, or other applicable standards or requirements;
vi. Are approved or recommended by any governmental agency, person, firm or organization, or that they are
the users of such products or materials;
vii. Are of sufficient size, capacity, character or nature to do the job expected or represented;
viii. Are or will be custom-built or specially designed for the needs of the buyer; or
ix. May be serviced or repaired within the buyer’s immediate trade area, or be maintained with replacement and
repair parts which are readily available.
3. Bait selling:
i. Offer or represent specific products or materials as being for sale, where the purpose or effect of the offer or
representation is not to sell as represented but to bait or entice the buyer into the purchase of other or higher
priced substitute products or materials;
ii. Disparage, degrade or otherwise discourage the purchase of products or materials offered or represented by
the seller as being for sale to induce the buyer to purchase other or higher priced substitute products or
iii. Refuse to show, demonstrate or sell products or materials as advertised, offered, or represented as being for
iv. Substitute products or materials for those specified in the home improvement contract, or otherwise represented
or sold for use in the making of home improvements by sample, illustration or model, without the
knowledge or consent of the buyer;
v. Fail to have available a quantity of the advertised product sufficient to meet reasonably anticipated demands;
vi. Misrepresent that certain products or materials are unavailable or that there will be a long delay in their
manufacture, delivery, service or installation in order to induce a buyer to purchase other or higher priced
substitute products or materials from the seller.
4. Identity of seller:
i. Deceptively gain entry into the prospective buyer’s home or onto the buyer’s property under the guise of any
governmental or public utility inspection, or otherwise misrepresent that the seller has any official right,
duty or authority to conduct an inspection;
ii. Misrepresent that the seller is an employee, office or representative of a manufacturer, importer or any other
person, firm or organization, or a member of any trade association, or that such person, firm or organization
will assume some obligation in fulfilling the terms of the contract;
iii. Misrepresent the status, authority or position of the sales representative in the organization he represents;
iv. Misrepresent that the sales representative is an employee or representative of or works exclusively for a
particular seller; or
v. Misrepresent that the seller is part of any governmental or public agency in any printed or oral communication
including but not limited to leaflets, tracts or other printed material, or that any licensing denotes approval
by the governmental agency.
5. Gift offers:
i. Offer or advertise any gift, free item or bonus without fully disclosing the terms or conditions of the offer,
including expiration date of the offer and when the gift, free item or bonus will be given; or
ii. Fail to comply with the terms of such offer.
6. Price and financing:
i. Misrepresent to a prospective buyer that an introductory, confidential, close-out, going out of business,
factory, wholesale, or any other special price or discount is being given, or that any other concession is made
because of a market survey or test, use of materials left over from another job, or any other reason;
ii. Misrepresent that any person, firm or organization, whether or not connected with the seller, is especially
interested in seeing that the prospective buyer gets a bargain, special price, discount or any other benefit or
iii. Misrepresent or mislead the prospective buyer into believing that insurance or some other form of protection
will be furnished to relieve the buyer from obligations under the contract if the buyer becomes ill, dies or is
unable to make payments;
iv. Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that no obligation will be incurred because of the signing of
any document, or that the buyer will be relieved of some or all obligations under the contract by the signing
of any documents;
v. Request the buyer to sign a certificate of completion, or make final payment on the contract before the home
improvement is completed in accordance with the terms of the contract;
vi. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include delivery or installation, or
that otherrequirements must be fulfilled by the buyer as a condition to the performance of labor, services, or
the furnishing of products or materials at the offered or contract price;
vii. Mislead the prospective buyer into believing that the down payment or any other sum constitutes the full
amount the buyer will be obligated to pay;
viii. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include all financing charges,
interest service charges, credit investigation costs, building or installation permit fees, or other obligations,
charges, cost or fees to be paid by the buyer;
ix. Advise or induce the buyer to inflate the value of the buyer’s property or assets, or to misrepresent or falsify
the buyer’s true financial position in order to obtain credit; or
x. Increase or falsify the contract price, or induce the buyer by any means to misrepresent or falsify the contract
price or value of the home improvement for financing purposes or to obtain additional credit.
7. Performance:
i. Deliver materials, begin work, or use any similar tactic to unduly pressure the buyer into a home improvement
contract, or make any claim or assertion that a binding contract has been agreed upon where no final
agreement or understanding exists;
ii. Fail to begin or complete work on the date or within the time period specified in the home improvement
contract, or as otherwise represented, unless the delay is for reason of labor stoppage; unavailability of
supplies or materials, unavoidable casualties, or any other cause beyond the seller’s control. Any changes in
the dates or time periods stated in a written contract shall be agreed to in writing; or
iii. Fail to give timely written notice to the buyer of reasons beyond the seller’s control for any delay in performance,
and when the work will begin or be completed.
8. Competitors:
i. Misrepresent that the work of a competitor was performed by the seller;
ii. Misrepresent that the seller’s products, materials or workmanship are equal to or better than those of a
competitor; or
iii. Use or imitate the trademarks, trade names, labels or other distinctive marks of a competitor.
9. Sales representations:
i. Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that a purchase will aid or help some public, charitable,
religious, welfare or veterans’ organization, or misrepresent the extent of such aid or assistance;
ii. Knowingly fail to make any material statement of fact, qualification or explanation if the omission of such
statement, qualification or explanation causes an advertisement, announcement, statement or representation
to be false, deceptive or misleading; or
iii. Misrepresent that the customer’s present equipment, material, product, home or a part thereof is dangerous
or defective, or in need of repair or replacement.
10. Building permits:
i. No seller contracting for the making of home improvements shall commence work until he is sure that all
applicable state or local building and construction permits have been issued as required under state laws or
local ordinances; or
ii. Where midpoint or final inspections are required under state laws or local ordinances, copies of inspection
certificates shall be furnished to the buyer by the seller when construction is completed and before final
payment is due or the signing of a completion slip is requested of the buyer.
11. Guarantees or warranties:
i. The seller shall furnish the buyer a written copy of all guarantees or warranties made with respect to labor
services, products or materials furnished in connection with home improvements. Such guarantees or warranties
shall be specific, clear and definite and shall include any exclusions or limitations as to their scope or
duration. Copies of all guarantees or warranties shall be furnished to the buyer at the time the seller presents
his bid as well as at the time of execution of the contract, except that separate guarantees or warranties of the
manufacturer of products or materials may be furnished at the time such products or materials are installed.
12. Home improvement contract requirements--writing requirement: All home improvement contracts for a purchase
price in excess of $ 200.00, and all changes in the terms and conditions thereof shall be in writing. Home
improvement contracts which are required by this subsection to be in writing, and all changes in the terms and
conditions thereof, shall be signed by all parties thereto, and shall clearly and accurately set forth in legible
form all terms and conditions of the contract, including, but not limited to, the following:
i. The legal name and business address of the seller, including the legal name and business address of the sales
representative or agent who solicited or negotiated the contract for the seller;
ii. A description of the work to be done and the principal products and materials to be used or installed in
performance of the contract. The description shall include, where applicable, the name, make, size, capacity,
model, and model year of principal products or fixtures to be installed, and the type, grade, quality, size
or quantity of principal building or construction materials to be used. Where specific representations are
made that certain types of products or materials will be used, or the buyer has specified that certain types of
products are to be used, a description of such products or materials shall be clearly set forth in the contract;
iii. The total price or other consideration to be paid by the buyer, including all finance charges. If the contract
is one for time and materials, the hourly rate for labor and all other terms and conditions of the contract
affecting price shall be clearly stated;
iv. The dates or time period on or within which the work is to begin and be completed by the seller;
v. A description of any mortgage or security interest to be taken in connection with the financing or sale of the
home improvement; and
vi. A statement of any guarantee or warranty with respect to any products, materials, labor or services made by
the seller.
13. Disclosures and obligations concerning preservation of buyers’ claims and defenses:
i. If a person other than the seller is to act as the general contractor or assume responsibility for performance of
the contract, the name and address of such person shall be disclosed in the oral or written contract, except as
otherwise agreed, and the contract shall not be sold or assigned without the written consent of the buyer;
ii. No home improvement contract shall require or entail the execution of any note, unless such note shall have
conspicuously printed thereon the disclosures required by either State law (N.J.S.A. 17:16C-64.2 (consumer
note)) or Federal law (16 C.F.R. section 433.2) concerning the preservation of buyers’ claims and defenses.


Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Mount Olive, New Jersey 07836
(973) 598-1980, E-mail
Fax (973)598-1982

We handle the following types of claims

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Keywords, construction law, lawyer, New Jersey construction lawyer, construction claims, defect.