KNOW YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS
Whether you are fixing the roof of your home due to storm damage or maintaining the roof season-to-season, you want an honest, lawful roofing contractor to do the job. Understand however that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) does NOT issue an occupational license to roofers at this time. The laws in Texas are written to protect the contractor NOT the consumer so YOU MUST PROTECT YOURSELF AND HIRE A CONTRACTOR WISELY!
Take advantage of the many tips and links from the Texas Attorney General office. Consumer Protection Division for Home Remodeling and Repair Resources
According to The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton over the Consumer Protection Division for Home Remodeling and Repair, the law is as written below:
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Any contract you sign for work on your homestead must contain the following warning next to the space for your signature:
“Important Notice: You and your contractor are responsible for meeting the terms and conditions of this contract. If you sign this contract and you fail to meet the terms and conditions of this contract, you may lose your legal ownership rights in your home. Know your rights and duties under the law.”
When you sign a contract for home improvements on your homestead, the contractor can legally place a lien on the homestead. If you sign a contract containing the language quoted above and you fail to make the payments, the company can take away your home.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand exactly what your obligations will be under the contract, and that you are confident you can meet those obligations. If you have any questions or doubts, consult an attorney before you sign the contract. You have three days to cancel a contract in writing after signing.
If there will be a lien on your home, make sure a notary is present to witness your signature. A notary other than the salesperson must be present to witness you sign the document creating the lien. It should be a warning to you if the salesperson does not have a notary present or if he says he will take care of the notarization later.
It bears repeating: get and keep copies of everything you sign. If your contractor fails to pay the subcontractors and suppliers, YOU are responsible, even though you have not contracted directly with the subcontractor or supplier. Under Texas law, if a subcontractor or supplier who furnishes labor or materials for the construction of improvements on a property is not paid, the property may be subject to a lien for the unpaid amount.
If your homestead improvement exceeds $5,000 in cost, the contractor is required by law to deposit your payments in a construction account at a financial institution. Ask the contractor for written verification of the existence of the construction account. Monitor deposits and disbursements to subcontractors, laborers, and vendors. Access to the account record should be included as a requirement in your written construction contract.