Virginia law has licensing regulations that spell out specific terms that must be included in all residential contracting. These regulations apply broadly to construction and renovation work and are spelled out clearly at 18 VAC 50-22-260. There are some nuances to the type of projects and contractors to which these regulations apply.
The first and most basic requirement is that all residential agreements must use a legible, written contract that clearly specifies the terms and conditions of the work to be performed. Prior to commencement of the work or acceptance of payments, both the consumer and the licensee must sign the contract. Generally, contractors performing construction work and many of their subcontractors are required to be licensed; however, again, there are some nuances to when licenses are required.
The regulations require the following items in all residential contracts, or the contractor may face legal penalties and be subject to a license complaint:
- When the work is to begin and the estimated completion date;
- Contractor’s name, address, license number, class of license, and classifications or specialty service;
- A statement of total cost of the contract and a schedule for progress payments, including a specific statement on the amount of a down payment;
- A list of specified materials and work to be performed;
- An exculpatory clause explaining that events beyond a contractor’s control do not constitute abandonment and are not included in calculating timeframes for payment or performance;
- A statement that the contractor will comply with all local requirements for building permits, inspections, and zoning;
- Disclosure of cancellation rights of the parties, which often include a three day right of cancellation of the contract after signing;
- A statement providing that any modification to the contract which changes the cost, materials, work to be performed, or estimated completion date must be in writing and signed by all parties; and
- A statement notifying the consumer of the existence of the Virginia Contractor Transaction Recovery Fund and information on how to contact the Board for Contractors for claim information.
If a contractor is conducting door-to-door solicitations, additional requirements exist (e.g., consumer must be provided with DPOR’s Statement of Consumer Protections. Because residential agreements are often negotiated in one’s home, we recommend including these additional protections out of an abundance of caution.
If you have questions about Virginia licensing regulations pertaining to residential contracting projects, or need assistance with a current project, please contact Harrison Clinton at (703) 526-5587 or email@example.com, or your current Bean, Kinney & Korman attorney.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice. Consult a lawyer. Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily the views of any client.