Senator BOB SMITH
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Senator CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Revises required experience for home improvement and home elevation contractors.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning home improvement and home elevation contractors, and amending P.L.2014, c. .
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.2014, c. (C. ) (S-2976 (2R) of 2013, passed both houses) is amended to read as follows:
1. a. In addition to complying with the other requirements of the “Contractors’ Registration Act,” P.L.2004, c.16 (C.56:8-136 et seq.), no person shall offer to perform, or engage, or attempt to engage in the business of home elevation unless registered with the division as a home elevation contractor.
b. To register with the division as a home elevation contractor, a person must certify that: (1) he has at least [five] two years of experience as a home improvement contractor; (2) at least [two] five years of experience in home elevation which meets criteria established by the director; and (3) is in compliance with all of the requirements of the “Contractors’ Registration Act,” P.L.2004, c.16 (C.56:8-136 et seq.). For the purposes of this subsection, experience in home elevation shall include both experience on home elevation projects and training in the operation of home elevation equipment.
c. The division, in consultation with the Division of Codes and Standards in the Department of Community Affairs, shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this section, and may adopt specific criteria regarding the experience and training necessary to register as a home elevation contractor.
d. In addition to any other civil or criminal penalty that may apply, any person who makes a false statement in the certification required pursuant to subsection b. of this section or who knowingly submits a false certification required pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 or more than $25,000. Such penalty may be imposed by the director and shall be collected by summary proceedings instituted in accordance with the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).
e. The director shall suspend or revoke the home improvement contractor registration and home elevation contractor registration of any person who violates any provision of P.L.2014, c. (C. ) (S-2976 (2R) of 2013, passed both houses).
(cf: P.L.2014, c. , s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative until the first day of the fourth month after enactment of P.L.2014, c. (S-2976 (2R) of 2013, passed both houses)
Many homeowners in New Jersey are currently planning on elevating their homes in order to protect against future flooding events. The work involved in raising a house to a higher level above the ground is a specific type of construction that has never been conducted in New Jersey on a scale comparable to what is now beginning. As a result, in order to protect homeowners, the Legislature recently passed P.L.2014, c. (S-2976 (2R) of 2013, passed both houses), which would require any contractor working on home elevations to register with the Division of Consumer Affairs. In order to obtain this registration, S-2976 (2R) of 2013 would require a contractor to first certify that he has at least five years of experience as a home improvement contractor, and at least two years of experience in home elevation.
Concerns have recently emerged that these requirements place too much emphasis on experience as a home improvement contractor, and too little emphasis on experience in actual home elevations. This could lead to a situation in which the State has too few registered contractors to meet the demand for this work, but many who are able to register, may not be experienced enough with actual home elevations to conduct the work responsibly.
This bill would amend S-2976 (2R) of 2013 to change the experience requirements for registration as a home elevation contractor, making it necessary to have only two years of experience as a home improvement contractor, but five years of experience in home elevations.