Home Repair and Remodeling Act

Illinois has a statute on the books called the Home Repair and Remodeling Act. It applies to contractors who work on residences, which include a single-family home or dwelling or a multiple family home or dwelling containing six or fewer apartments, condominiums, townhouses, or dwelling units, used or intended to be used by occupants as dwelling places.

The Act requires that prior to initiating home repair or remodeling work for over $1,000, a person engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling shall furnish to the customer for signature a written contract or work order that states the total cost, including parts and materials listed with reasonable particularity, and any charge for an estimate. In addition, the contract shall state the business name and address of the person engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling. If a clause is included requiring binding arbitration or waiver of a jury trial, that must be brought to the consumer's attention to allow them to either accept or reject that provision. The contractor should also provide a copy of the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet prior to the execution of any such contract. The consumer should sign and date an acknowledgement form entitled “Consumer Rights Acknowledgement Form.”

For any contract for $1,000 or under, a contractor shall provide to its customers a copy of the pamphlet, but they do not need the consumer to sign written acknowledgement. Failure to do these things can result in the Home Repair and Remodeling Act being used as a defense to a collection act.