Roofers from at least a dozen states have to comply with the new enacted laws that protect consumers from aggressive contractors, so-called “the storm-chasers”. These aggressive roofing contractors are usually the first who come on the scene of a badly damaged property affected by a storm.
So, many roofing companies have to adjust their work and contracts to comply with these new laws. In just one year and a half many states such as Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee and South Dakota have enacted these kind of laws.
Of course, these laws are not entirely similar (they differ from state to state), but broadly, they all include the following aspects:
A) In general, all roofing contractors have to provide customers written estimates of their work that will be performed and they can start the job only after the contract between them and the consumers is signed. In several states such as Illinois and Louisiana, these contracts cover many other construction stages from home-improvement or remodeling, not only roofing.
B) How I mentioned above, these new enacted laws specifically protect the consumers. The new laws mention that the consumer has the opportunity to change his mind and cancel the roofing contract without penalty, within 72 hours after signing the contract.
C) In addition another grace period (again of 72 hours), which starts when and if the consumer’s insurance carrier doesn’t accept a claim regarding the roofing work.
D) The roofing contractor must refund any kind of payment or deposit made by consumer if the contract is cancelled within 72 hours.
E) An interdiction against rebating or waving the deductible amount of the consumer’s insurance.
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Who benefits from these new issued laws? The reality is that many conscientious roofing contractors support these new enacted laws without any reservations realizing that in fact, it is a good thing. Serious contractors should not be afraid of these new amendments. The work quality will only benefit from these new laws. In fact, many roofers’ associations have supported these new laws.
However, the truth is that many other contractors do not appreciate these new laws. Although everyone consider that the consumer is protected, the complexity of these laws scares many people, including insurance companies. They are trying now to protect their business rewording the new contracts. There is still a lot of incertitude and confusion about these new laws.
Anyway, the most affected by these laws are roofing contractors and in fact they have all the rights to be, because this 72 hours period for cancellation of the contract, may favor many unscrupulous and opportunistic contractors. They will try to take advantage and offer prices below their prices, although it is illegal for a company to interfere with an existing contract.
In addition, the law makes all the financial transactions to be quite difficult and complicated. The new law requires all the deposits from the property owner to be hold in trust until the roofer has performed the most part of the work or has delivered the materials for roofing. The best solution is that the roofing contractor should keep all the initial deposits and payments in a different account until the most part of the work is done and only after that it can transfer the money in the operating account. In this way the roofer will be in compliance with the law.