NJ State law affecting landscape contractors

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by FIREMAN, May 31, 2001.


    FIREMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 318

    There is a law on the books that states"any home improvement including landscaping performed in N.J. must be performed under written contract if the work exceeds 200.00 dollars". This is a heads up for all those who don't use written contracts.
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I think some people will be unhappy about this one, but I'll disagree. I think its a plus for contractors now. They can inform their customer its a law and therefore NEED a contract. Probobly a lot easier talking them into contracts that way.

    What do you guys think?

    I guess its a good time for you guys that don't use contracts to start!

    FIREMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 318

    I learned of this law the hard way, I was considering legal recourse against a client who did not pay the last 3rd(final)payment on a large job, about 13k. Anyway when I went to see my attorney about legal action I was warned of this law. It is contained in some section of the consumer fruad protection act. Also another highlight of this wonderful law is the penalty...which is also stated in the law books..READ THIS CAREFULLY....the party claiming fruad by a contractor is entitled to tripled damages plus attorney fees and court costs....that is not a typo... According to my attorney it would be unwise for me to persue this in court as it could cost me 39 k plus attorney fees and court costs....I screwed myself. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU....13K IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF MONEY NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR HOW BIG YOUR COMPANY IS..
  4. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    Sorry to hear about that Fireman. There is also a proposed law (not sure if it passed yet) that we landscapers in NJ will be required to be licensed like home improvement & general contractors. If I remember correctly there will be a yearly fee & we will have to have a certain amount of bonding to cover fraud claims etc.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    In CT if you do landscape install totaling $1000 or more in a 12 month period or any one job totalling $200 or more you need to be a licensed contractor. Part of being a licensed contractor is the requirement that you not perform any work without a valid signed contract. No written contract means no recourse for either party in the event of default. The law specifies written, not oral.
  6. Turf Gnome

    Turf Gnome LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    There is a NJ law for all licensed home improvement contractors that are registered in NJ. We are an audio & video systems integration firm and are also a NJ state home improvement contractor contractor. For any transaction over 400.00 there must be a contract written up to protect both the consumer and the business. That way if the customer defaults or you screw up, it can be handled by the state attorney generals office. Typically it's a way for the state to make money off of peoples mishaps, wrong doings.
    But honestly, I don't know why anyone would not want to use a contract when performing a service to a client. To me it's a no brainer, having it in writing is proof that work and services are to be "contracted" by a reputable landscape, or any other type of service oriented business. There are not assumptions or false pretense of work to be performed. Trust me, being burnt for $15k for a guy that "just dosen't want to pay" is NOT fun. The cost of trying to get the money back will cost you double of what it would be to do it right in the first place.
    Take time, do research and make it happen!


    J/A/V Integrated Systems, LLC

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