Home repair contractors in Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant are among 26 cited for various violations by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).


Mark Walton, trading as All Exteriors Roofing and Siding, and Stephen B. Hendler Custom Builders were issued penalties for failing to obtain state registration.

Information from acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman says that the total in non-compliance assessments for the entire group amounts to $251,602, ranging in amounts from $200 to $27,400 based on amounts claimed by consumers. Twenty-three were ordered to refund customers a total of $153,582. The total in civil penalties for all 26 amounted to $97,750.

In addition to registration violations, complaints include shoddy workmanship, failure to start or complete jobs, failure to provide written, detailed contracts for projects costing more than $500.

DCA continues to conduct investigations based on consumer complaints and is now compiling and issuing quarterly .

"The great majority of New Jersey's registered home improvement contractors are proud to provide honest, quality service to their clients," Hoffman said in a prepared statement.  "But the fact that home improvement-related issues remain the number one consumer complaint in New Jersey means that this enforcement action is needed to deter those contractors who violate our consumer protection laws."

Contractors cited with notices can contest the allegations and restitution orders, stop the practices noted, and pay civil penalties and customer refunds. If they're unregistered, they can apply.

DCA officials urge home owners to check the performance records of prospective repair firms, ask for references, and get written contracts that include legal trading identities, business addresses, registration numbers, job descriptions and price totals. Guarantees and warranties should be written as well, and include the brands or quality of materials to be used.

They also recommend obtaining copies of insurance liability records and contacting the insuror to determine the policy's validity, and checking with municipal code officials to determine that permits have been issued.

The general practice for paying, according to DCA, is a third in advance, a third at midpoint and a third on completion.

There are more tips on the New Jersey Consumer Affairs web page. Reach the Divison at 800-242-5846.


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