By Attorney Adrienne Finucane
Paid for a home repair service that was never completed or even started? You're not alone. In fact, this problem is common enough that Illinois has multiple laws to help people in this situation.
Consumers who have been duped by home repair contractors into paying for incomplete or non-existent repairs can look to Illinois' Home Repair Fraud Act and Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act for redress.
The Home Repair Fraud Act covers a broad range of bad contractor practices, such as when a home repair salesperson misrepresents important facts regarding the condition of your property, charges you far more for repairs than the fair market value of the materials and services provided, or makes any false promises to get you to sign a construction contract. Violation of the Home Repair Fraud Act can be a crime, with added penalties if the consumer is over the age of 65 or has a disability.
Most importantly, for you as the consumer, you can get your money back for certain violations of the Home Repair Fraud Act. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practice Act provides that in any situation where a provider of home repairs as defined in the Home Repair Fraud Act fails to commence or properly complete work under an agreement for home repairs, the customer or their legal representative can send a demand for a refund of all payments under the agreement. The contractor has 10 days from that demand to return your money. If they do not, they have violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act and can be sued for a full refund plus attorneys fees and costs.
The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act also allows you to sue for violations of another law governing home repairs, called the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, which contains rules such as what information a home repair salesperson is required to put in a contract with a consumer, and how much time a consumer has to cancel a contract signed with a door-to-door home repair salesperson. For more information on the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, check out https://www.ctmlegalgroup.com/resources/home-repair-season-know-your-rights.
If you've had problems with a recent home repair, please contact CTM Legal Group at 312-818-6700.