1. Technical violations. Every home improvement contractor who violates any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars.
Terms Used In N.Y. General Business Law 773
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Home improvement: means the repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, or modernizing of, or adding to, residential property and shall include, but not be limited to, the construction, erection, replacement, or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, siding, insulation, roofing, windows, terraces, patios, landscaping, fences, porches, garages, solar energy systems, flooring, basements, and other improvements of the residential property and all structures or land adjacent to it. See N.Y. General Business Law 770
- Home improvement contractor: means a person, firm or corporation which owns or operates a home improvement business or who undertakes, offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement for a fee and for whom the total cash price of all of his home improvement contracts with all his customers exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars during any period of twelve consecutive months. See N.Y. General Business Law 770
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Owner: means any homeowner, co-operative shareholder owner, or residential tenant, or any person who purchases a custom home as defined in this section. See N.Y. General Business Law 770
2. Substantial violations. Every home improvement contractor who fails to deposit funds in an escrow account or provide a bond or contract of indemnity or irrevocable letter of credit in compliance with the requirements of section seventy-one-a of the lien law, or who fails to provide a written contract substantially in compliance with the requirements of this article, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed the greater of two hundred fifty dollars for each violation or five percent of the aggregate contract price specified in the home improvement contract; provided, however, that in no event shall the total penalty exceed twenty-five hundred dollars for each contract.
3. Mitigating factors; defenses. In an instance where the contractor has been shown to have committed multiple violations of this article or the provisions of section seventy-one-a of the lien law, the court shall consider the following factors in assessing a civil penalty pursuant to subdivision two of this section: the volume of business which the home improvement contractor performs on an annual basis, the number of contracts in violation, the actual financial loss or exposure to financial loss suffered by any owner as a result of the violations, and whether the home improvement contractor acted in good faith or willfully with respect to such violations. No home improvement contractor shall be subject to the increased penalties provided by subdivision two of this section if such contractor shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error made notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such a violation.