Under Illinois’ Home Repair and Remodeling Act, consumers have a right to cancel some types of home repair contracts within three business days of signing. Information advising consumers of their right for cancellation must be provided before the contract is signed. Cancellation can be done by delivering a written notice to the seller at his or her place of business within three business days.
What Types of Home Repair Contracts Can Be Cancelled?
The Home Repair and Remodeling Act was put into law to protect consumers from getting taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors. Under this law, consumers can cancel their home repair contract if the sale of the merchandise or service amounts to $25 or more and the contractor or salesperson was physically in the residence when the contract was signed. This helps protect consumers who may have felt pressured into signing a contract or later have second thoughts about dealing with the contractor after signing.
Home repair refers to the repairing, replacing, remodeling, upgrading, or making in addition to a property that is used as a residence. It does not refer to:
- Carpet sale and installation, repair or cleaning
- Sales of goods or materials from a merchant who does not perform any work with the products
- Landscaping services
- Home appliance repair, installation or replacement by an employee of a merchant that sold the appliance to the consumer
Exceptions to the Three Day Right to Cancel
There are two exceptions to a consumer’s three day right to cancel a home repair. The first exception is work that is considered to be an emergency when the consumer has initiated contact with the contractor to perform the work. The second is when the consumer has previously negotiated the contract terms at the contractor’s place of business, even when the contract was signed in the consumer’s home.
Best Practices When Hiring a Contractor
To protect a consumer’s rights and avoid potential contractor fraud it is important to perform due diligence when hiring a contractor. Consumers should ask for recommendations from friends and family members and request references from the contractor. They should insist that the contractor provides a complete written contract. People should verify that the contractor is registered with the state, is licensed, and is covered by insurance. Consumers should also avoid signing a contract if they feel bullied by the contractor.