What Can I Do About a Bad Home Improvement Contract?


These questions and responses DO NOT constitute legal advice. They are intended to provide general information to improve your consumer literacy and give a broad understanding about how the marketplace works in the areas discussed. Consumer protection laws differ in different states. Even in California laws frequently change through legislative amendments, developing case law, and sometimes the effect of overriding federal regulations. Your legal rights and remedies will depend on your particular circumstances, documents and evidence. If you have further questions, just give us a call.

What is a Home Improvement Contract?

A home improvement contract means an agreement between a contractor or salesperson and owner or tenant that totals over $500 for the repair, remodel, or alteration of a dwelling. A home improvement contract can cover either goods or services. This means it can cover labor, services, or materials. Certain exclusions apply to this definition.

What Disclosures Must a Home Improvement Contract Contain?

California law contains precise information describing the information that must be in a home improvement contract. For example, the seller must give the buyer a completely filled in contract. The contract must be legible and contain all pricing and financing information. It must also contain the statutory three day right to cancel.

Do I Have the Right to Cancel the Contract?

In most cases, the buyer is entitled to cancel the contract within three days of signing.

Should I Agree to Let the Salesperson Find Financing for the Sale?

Not usually. The company likely makes a large amount of its money through the financing, not from the product it is selling. You are likely to be trapped in a high interest rate, long term loan if you allow the salesperson to arrange financing.

What if the Salesperson Won’t Give Me All the Documents I Sign?

You are entitled to receive a copy of all documents you sign. Make sure that you receive copies of every single document you sign, along with all brochures and manuals. You may have signed multiple contracts or documents. Make sure you have a copy of everything. If you sign anything on a tablet or e-sign on a computer, make sure you receive a copy immediately.

What if the Salesperson Conducted Negotiations for the Sale of the Goods in My Language, but the Contract and Other Documents are in English?

You may have the right to cancel the contract. The California Translation Act requires that you receive all contractual paperwork in the same language that you negotiated in.

What if the Contractor Isn’t Providing the Services They Told Me They Would, or What if the Good Don’t Work?

If the goods are not delivered or the contractor does not perform the work, you may have other claims against the company, including for breach of warranty or consumer fraud. You should retain all documents and make a note of all conversations you have had with the company and contact an attorney.

Can an Attorney Help Me Get My Money Back?

If you are paying for something that isn’t working, and you believe you have been wronged, you may be able to get your money back. You may wish to call our firm and receive a free consultation. If we are able to take your case, you will never be charged for our attorneys’ fees and costs. We receive compensation from defendants pursuant to fee shifting statutes.

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