DeWine Signs HB50 – Home Construction Law is Modified to Add Remodelers | JD Supra

On June 28, 2024, Governor DeWine signed HB50 which redefines some important definitions in the Home Construction Suppliers Services Act (RC 4722) (HCSSA). The change will require ALL Ohio construction contractors to review their contract forms for compliance.

Under the HCSSA the term “Home construction service” will now include “… the repair, improvement, remodel, or renovation of an existing structure”. Previously, courts applied the HCSSA inconsistently. Cases hinged on whether the HCSSA was intended to apply only to new construction, thereby excluding home remodeling contract. The change adds home remodeling work to the HCSSA and removes it in most situations (contracts priced over $25,000) from the harsh Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (treble damages).

The added clarity is good for the contractors but comes with more responsibility. Going forward, repair, improvement, remodeling, and renovations contractors must implement simple yet very strict provisions into their contracts on work priced over $25,000 or face claims from either the homeowner or the Ohio Attorney General. Under the HCSSA, all such contracts over $25,000 must do meet ALL of the following language requirements:

  1. Describe the work, materials, timeline, warranties, and an estimate of the total price in detail.
  2. Disclose the contractor’s insurance information, adverse judgments, entity information (contractor’s name and address).
  3. Include a reference to the 3-day right to cancel the contract is signed.
  4. Not include unfair contract terms, (e.g. excessive down payments).
  5. Notify the owner of owner’s right to an estimate of any extra costs.

The HCSSA offers remedies to the homeowner such as rescission, restitution, repair, replacement, or damages. If the contractor fails to adhere to the HCSSA, the Ohio Attorney General may investigate the supplier and bring a civil action. The consumer may also sue. A court may award the consumer reasonable attorney’s fees.

Do you know if your contracts comply with the HCSSA? We recommend you review your contracts carefully as soon as possible to reduce your risks of non-compliance.

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