Substitute House Bill No. 6615

Public Act No. 01-155

AN ACT CONCERNING CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR FINANCED PROGRAMS, HOME INSPECTORS AND HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS AND SALESPERSONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (e) of section 20-429 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) Each home improvement contract entered into shall be considered a home solicitation sale pursuant to chapter 740 and shall be subject to the requirements of said chapter regardless of the location of the transaction or of the signing of the contract. Each home improvement contract in which the owner agrees to repay the contractor an amount loaned or advanced to the owner by the contractor for the purposes of paying for the goods and services provided in such contract, or which contains a finance charge, (1) shall set forth the information required to be disclosed pursuant to the Truth-in-Lending Act, sections 36a-675 to 36a-685, inclusive, (2) shall allow the owner to pay off in advance the full amount due and obtain a partial refund of any unearned finance charge, and (3) may contain a finance charge set at a rate of not more than the rate allowed for loans pursuant to section 37-4. As used in this subsection, "finance charge" means the amount in excess of the cash price for goods and services under the home improvement contract to be paid by the owner for the privilege of paying the contract price in installments over a period of time.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 52-572k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any covenant, promise, agreement or understanding entered into in connection with or collateral to a contract or agreement relative to the construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of any building, structure or appurtenances thereto including moving, demolition and excavating connected therewith, that purports to indemnify or hold harmless the promisee against liability for damage arising out of bodily injury to persons or damage to property caused by or resulting from the [sole] negligence of such promisee, [his] such promisee's agents or employees, is against public policy and void, provided this section shall not affect the validity of any insurance contract, workers' compensation agreement or other agreement issued by a licensed insurer.

Sec. 3. Section 20-426 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The commissioner may revoke, suspend or refuse to issue or renew any certificate of registration as a home improvement contractor or [salesman] salesperson or place a registrant on probation or issue a letter of reprimand for: (1) Conduct of a character likely to mislead, deceive or defraud the public or the commissioner; (2) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising; (3) failing to reimburse the guaranty fund established pursuant to section 20-432 for any moneys paid to an owner pursuant to subsection (o) of section 20-432; (4) unfair or deceptive business practices; or (5) violation of any of the provisions of the general statutes relating to home improvements or any regulation adopted pursuant to any of such provisions. The commissioner may refuse to issue or renew any certificate of registration as a home improvement contractor or salesperson of any person subject to the registration requirements of chapter 969.

(b) The commissioner shall not revoke or suspend any certificate of registration or require the posting of a bond except upon notice and hearing in accordance with chapter 54.

Sec. 4. Section 20-494 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The board may, by majority vote of the entire board and upon a finding of any cause specified in subsection (c) of section 21a-9:

(1) Revoke, suspend or refuse to issue a home inspector license or home inspector intern permit;

(2) Issue a letter of reprimand to a home inspector and send a copy of such letter to a complainant or to a state or local official;

(3) Place a home inspector on probationary status and require the home inspector to report regularly to the board on the matter that is the basis for probation;

(4) Limit the home inspector's practice to areas prescribed by the board; or

(5) Order a home inspector to continue or renew the home inspector's education until the home inspector has attained a satisfactory level of competence in any area that is the basis for probation.

(b) By majority vote of the entire board and upon a finding that a person applying for or renewing a home inspector license or home inspector intern permit is subject to the registration requirements of chapter 969, the board may refuse to issue or renew the home inspector license or home inspector intern permit.

[(b)] (c) The board may discontinue, suspend or rescind any action taken under [subsection] subsections (a) or (b) of this section.

Approved July 6, 2001