You’re a small business owner who provides a service; maybe you’re a contractor, landscaper or own a bakery. You have built a strong reputation in your community by word of mouth and quality work. It doesn’t matter what type of small business you own, you can still become a victim of a scathing negative review from a customer. Bad reviews, whether true or not, can hurt your reputation and damage your bottom line. If they are false, and damage your business, you can sue them for libel, among other things. But the decision to sue even a former customer should not be made lightly.
Connecticut Contractors beware, that cartoon was reality for one of your peers, and cost him a ton of money. A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision (meaning it’s the law of the state) took away a contractor’s $214,039 court judgment it had won for services it had performed for a homeowner. You can read the decision here.
So many businesses rely on independent contractors to provide services to their customers. Home improvement contractors quickly come to mind. Businesses realize many benefits from using independent contractors, rather than employees. Not having to pay unemployment tax for the independent contractors is one huge benefit, and unemployment claims are usually when a business gets into trouble in this area.
Connecticut's general assembly found time to add to the list of the types of contractors that must comply with the Home Improvement Act. As of January 1, 2017, contractors that perform water, fire and storm restoration and mold remediation will have to register as home improvement contractors and use contracts that comply with the statute. While registering is an easy process and relatively inexpensive, check it out here, making sure your contracts comply with the Act is a little more involved.
Home improvement contractors can get a bad rap. And just like lawyers, its mostly undeserved. Contractors are regulated by the state Department of Consumer Protection and governed by the Home Improvement Act, a law that can cause them all sorts of troubles if they don't comply with it.
Contractors rely to a great extent on the mechanics lien as a way to secure payments they are owed. Most states, including Connecticut, have a statutory scheme that provides security, in the form of a lien on real estate, for payment for work performed. But what about when the work is performed on property that is leased to a tenant, commercial or residential? A contractor can still assert the lien, but what if the tenant wants to get rid of, or discharge the lien? Can it?