I recently purchased a condo. I hired a company to do a bathroom remodel (approximately 15k). I asked prior to them starting if they needed a permit via email and verbal conversation. I was told verbally they did not. The job was completed in October, the town inspected the completed work and failed the property because the company did not obtain a proper permit and did not use proper piping. I am now paying rent in my current apartment and a mortgage for a place I am not able to live in because I do not have a certificate of occupancy. This is causing a financial strain.
Realistically the chance of your contractor having a legally valid contract is almost none.
New Jersey home improvement contractors must follow the New Jersey Home Improvement Regulations, the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration Regulations and the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act. The New Jersey home improvement contracts must follow the requirements of the New Jersey Home Improvement Regulations, the New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration Regulations and the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act. Otherwise, the and New Jersey home improvement contract violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey home improvement contract requirements can be quite strict and difficult for a New Jersey home improvement contractor to follow. In fact, most New Jersey home improvement contracts violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s New Jersey home improvement contract requirements. This means under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, you would be able to recover triple damages, plus attorney fees. Although you would at all times be primarily responsible for your own attorney fees. Do not let geographic restrictions get in the way of retaining the best attorney. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price.
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Follow my colleague's advice. Retain an experienced attorney to review your contract and all the correspondence between you and the contractor to discuss possible claims including violations of NJ consumer fraud act that has penalties that include treble damages for an ascertainable loss, attorneys' fees and costs.
This answer does not establish the existence of an attorney-client relationship nor is there any guarantee this advice will be successful in a court of law. A meeting to discuss your specific facts and a review of court orders and other relevant documents is needed for proper guidance and advice.
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