The Law and Your Home

Remodeling and the Law

What protection do I have once I sign a contract?

Given the number of scam artists working the streets, your best federal protection may be the cooling-off period mandated by the Truth in Lending Act. Called a "right to rescission," the law gives you three business days to cancel any contract that was signed in your home (or any location other than the seller's place of business) that implies any kind of financial claim to your home. This occurs, for example, when the contract gives the contractor the right to file a lien against your home to enforce payment.

If circumstances entitle you to a cooling-off period, the contractor must give you two copies of the Notice of Right of Rescission at the time you sign the contract. It must be separate from the contract—not buried in fine print—and a copy given to each owner, because any one owner may cancel.

The notice must identify the transaction, disclose the security interest, inform you of your right to rescind, tell you how to exercise that right, and give you the date the rescission period expires.

>>Which federal laws are applicable to remodeling projects?
>>What protection do I have once I sign a contract?
>>What kind of state and local laws apply to contractors?
>>What's the best way to guard against swindlers?
>>How do I find a reputable contractor?
>>Should I have a written contract with the contractor?
>>What should the contract include?
>>What should I watch out for when the job begins?
>>What can I do if the contractor violates the contract?


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