[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick 3-7-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is designed to provide protection to township residents who require the services of a home improvement contractor. It will help to ensure that these contractors are qualified to do the work, possess adequate insurance and perform their services in a professional manner. In addition, it provides a mechanism whereby building contractors that are found to be unscrupulous or unprofessional can be denied the privilege of performing their service in the township.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS
- Any person(s) who construct, demolish, repair, replace, remodel, alter, convert, rehabilitate, renovate, modernize, improve or add to any land or building, or that portion which is used or designed for use as a residence or dwelling place. It shall include but not be limited to the construction of swimming pools, driveways, terraces, patios, porches, garages, gazebos, basements, decks, windows, doors, cabinets, closets, kitchens, bathrooms, fire protection devices, alarm systems, water softeners, heaters, purifiers, solar heating or heat sinks, aluminum and vinyl siding, underground sprinkler systems, carpentry, masonry, roofing and other improvements to structures or upon land that is adjacent to a residence.
Any individual, firm, partnership or corporation involved in providing home improvement contractor services as described in § 151-2 above for which a building permit is required shall register with the township prior to undertaking any such work. Individual property owners who are performing the construction themselves on property they own shall not be required to register as a home improvement contractor for work they do on their own premises. However, if the property owner uses the services of a contractor or subcontractor, the contractor or subcontractor shall be registered under the provisions of this section.
The home improvement contractor's registration is valid from the date of issuance through January 31 of the following year. This registration shall cover all employees, and the contractor shall be responsible for the quality of work performed by his/her employees and subcontractors.
Individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, contractors and subcontractors required to be registered by the State of New Jersey pursuant to the New Home Warranty and Builders Registration Act, N.J.S.A. 46:3B-1 et seq., shall not be required to be registered under the provisions of this chapter to engage in the construction of new homes. Electricians and plumbers who are licensed by the State of New Jersey are also exempted from registration when performing work permitted by their license.
Application for registration shall be accomplished by completing the home improvement contractor registration form and filing it along with a copy of the contractor's insurance certificate for liability coverage and the fee with the Department of Inspections. The application shall supply the following:
Registration fee. An annual fee of $25 shall be filed with the initial application or application renewal.
Insurance certificate. This insurance shall provide liability coverage for property and completed operations and bodily injury to third parties of at least $500,000. A valid insurance certificate must be maintained at all times for the registration to be valid.
Name and address of applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners; if a corporation, the names and addresses of all officers, directors and persons holding 10% or more of the issued outstanding stock.
The type of work customarily performed by the applicant.
A statement as to whether the applicant or any person named in Subsection C(1) of this section has ever been cited for violating any building code, and if so, the date and the subject of the citation, the nature of the citation and the penalty imposed.
Names of the last three townships where work requiring a building permit was performed.
Editor's Note: The application form is included at the end of this chapter.
The Enforcement agent for the purposes of this chapter shall be the Township Construction Official or his/her designee.
The Enforcement Agent may deny or revoke a registration in any case where the applicant has made any materially false statement on the application. Denial or revocation may also occur if the applicant does not present evidence of valid insurance when requested or if the insurance coverage expires and is not immediately renewed. Furthermore, the Enforcement Agent may deny or revoke an application if the applicant has been or is found to be guilty of repeated or continued violation of any municipal or state building code.
The Enforcement Agent shall serve the applicant with a written notice of the denial or revocation. The applicant will have five business days to file an appeal of the revocation or denial with the Enforcement Agent. The Enforcement Agent or his designee will hear the appeal within three business days from the date the appeal is filed.
If the appeal decision upholds the denial or revocation of registration, a further appeal to the Township Council may be filed with the office of the Township Clerk within 10 business days of the second rejection. The Township Council must hear the second appeal within 30 days from the date the letter of second appeal is filed with the Township Clerk's office. The Township Council shall render a decision within 15 days of the date of the hearing.
Violations and penalties shall be as follows:
First violation: issue a stop-work order until a valid insurance certificate is presented to the Enforcement Agent.
Second violation within 12 months: Issue a stop-work order and a fine of $100.
Third violation within 12 months: a fine of $100 for each day work proceeds without a valid insurance certificate.
Any complaints filed against the applicant shall contain the name of the applicant, date of occurrence, a description of the complaint, name and address of the person filing the complaint and the signature of the person(s) filing the complaint. Complaints shall be held on file with the registration for a period of five years and may be used in consideration of renewal or revocation while they are on file.