Post Content

HIC

If you are a home improvement contractor or homeowner in Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered with our introductory guide to understanding the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) programs – from both perspectives, the homeowner’s and contractor’s.

This introduction to HIC programs is the first of our four part “HIC—Easy as 1-2-3!” blog series dedicated to providing resources and information concerning HIC law, contractors, homeowners, complaints and enforcement hearings, arbitration, and the Guaranty Fund. Keep reading to educate yourself or brush up on your knowledge about HIC programs in Massachusetts.

What is HIC?

HIC programs were established in 1992 as part of M.G.L.c.142A to ensure consumer protection and contractor regulation. This law provides the requirement and establishment of contractor registration, complaints and enforcement hearings, arbitration program, and the Guaranty Fund.

What do HIC programs cover?

The only form of contracting covered by home improvement contractor law is ‘residential contracting’ being done in a 1-4 residential unit that is also the homeowner’s primary dwelling. Residential contracting is when a home is being remodeled, repaired, altered, modernized, converted, demolished, or reconstructed.

How do HIC programs protect homeowners and contractors?

HIC programs provide a contract requirement for jobs over $1,000. This written agreement protects both parties.

The HIC arbitration program enables the homeowner or contractor to address and resolve disputes. If a homeowner win their case in arbitration or in court and the contractor fails to pay the award or judgment, the homeowner can apply to the HIC Guaranty Fund. The Guaranty Fund is used to compensate homeowners, up to $10,000, if judgements from arbitration are unpaid.

 

Recently WCVB covered some aspects of the HIC programs and spoke with an arbitrator in their story, “Home improvements? Tips to avoid contractor headaches.”

Stay tuned for part two of our “HIC—Easy as 1-2-3” blog series next week!


The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry. If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Top 10 Worst Products for MA Consumers List of 2021 posted on Dec 31

Top 10 Worst Products for MA Consumers List of 2021

As part of our ongoing consumer education and outreach, OCABR is again sharing its “Top 10 Worst Products for Massachusetts Consumers List” of 2021. The use of the products featured on this list have resulted in legal or legislative action, recalls, and/or other measures to protect   …Continue Reading Top 10 Worst Products for MA Consumers List of 2021

Disconnect from Emergency Broadband Scams posted on Dec 20

Disconnect from Emergency Broadband Scams

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a pandemic relief program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that provides a discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If eligible, your household can receive up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated   …Continue Reading Disconnect from Emergency Broadband Scams

Steering Clear of Snapchat Scams posted on Dec 13

Steering Clear of Snapchat Scams

Online fraud and identity theft prevention efforts are often focused on people who have less experience and knowledge of the internet, such as the elderly. However, even the most technologically savvy people can fall victim to scams. Scammers’ latest hunting ground for these younger victims is Snapchat, a popular   …Continue Reading Steering Clear of Snapchat Scams