Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 346, Home Improvement, Art. I, Licensed Home Improvement Contractor Restitution Fund.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ESTABLISHMENT
Any shop, residence, place or premises from which a home improvement contracting business is transacted.
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Knowledge of the extent of liability and risks to which home improvement contractors expose themselves when accepting a home improvement license in Suffolk County, including knowledge as to the need to furnish certificates of public liability and property damage, insurance, as well as proof of workers' compensation, if required by law, and fees for the license.
[Added 7-8-1986 by L.L. No. 19-1986]
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTING
Excluding work in the electrical and plumbing fields as defined by § 563-126 of this chapter, any repair, remodeling, alteration, conversion, modernization, home raising or home elevating services, improvement or addition to residential property, and includes but is not limited to painting of residential structures; carpentry; fencing; driveways; exterminating; flooring; ductwork for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; masonry; roofing; siding; the construction, installation and/or servicing of swimming pools and portable and permanent spas; and waterproofing; as well as other improvements to structures or upon land which are part of residential property, including landscaping and arboriculture, which as used herein shall mean tree sprayers, tree pruners, tree stump removers and all other tree services; but shall not include the construction of a new home or work done by a contractor in compliance with a guaranty of completion on new residential property or the sale of goods by a seller who neither arranges to perform nor performs, directly or indirectly, any work or labor in connection with the installation of or application of the goods or improvements to residences owned by or controlled by any government subdivision.
[Amended 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 10-1983; 9-22-1987 by L.L. No. 38-1987; 10-23-1990 by L.L. No. 37-1990; 12-15-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1999; 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007; 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 27-2013; 7-30-2013 by L.L. No. 36-2013]
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR
A person who engages in home improvement contracting upon residential property.
HOME RAISING OR HOME ELEVATING SERVICES
Any services involving the separation of a house, or part of a house, from its foundation. Home raising or home elevating services shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the temporary raising of a house or part of a house off of its foundation with hydraulic jacks and the shoring and leveling of a house.
[Added 7-30-2013 by L.L. No. 36-2013]
HOME MAINTENANCE
The keeping in a state of repair or efficiency residential property, as defined herein. Such work shall not include alteration of or additions to the original design or function of the residence and shall be limited to the simple repair of existing facilities and systems. For the purpose of this article, "home maintenance" work shall be considered minor, casual and inconsequential in nature when performed in connection with the seasonal opening and closing of residences.
[Added 6-27-1975 by L.L. No. 12-1975]
OWNER
Any owner of residential property, tenant or any other person who contracts for the services of a home improvement contractor or the person entitled to performance of the work of a home improvement contractor pursuant to a contract.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
One- or two-family houses and property associated therewith.
SALESMAN
Any individual who negotiates or offers to negotiate a contract for a home improvement contractor with an owner or solicits or otherwise endeavors to procure a contract from an owner on behalf of a home improvement contractor, whether or not such individual is an employee of the home improvement contractor.
[Amended 7-8-1986 by L.L. No. 19-1986]
A. 
It is unlawful for any person to engage in any business as a home improvement contractor without obtaining a license therefor from the office in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this article and Article I. Every licensee shall maintain an establishment within the State of New York.
[Amended 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994]
B. 
An individual applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director or his designee a basic understanding of the financial responsibility incurred by such licensing as evidenced by a written test administered by the Office to verify the applicant's knowledge of the requirements, terms and conditions of this chapter.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
C. 
All certificates of public liability and property damage insurance and workers' compensation shall be furnished to the Office by the applicant prior to the initial issuance of the license or at any time there is a change in insurance carrier. At the time of license renewal, a sworn affidavit shall be required stating that all insurance is in effect or a certificate of insurance filed.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003; 9-15-2011 by L.L. No. 49-2011]
D. 
All advertising for home improvement contracting shall contain the number of the home improvement license issued pursuant to this chapter.
E. 
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the County Division of Vector Control, shall develop a three-hour course, certified by the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs after approval by the Community Advisory Committee established pursuant to § 647-7 of the Suffolk County Code, to provide training in the use of nonpesticide procedures and the least toxic pesticide use under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The course shall be available to pesticide applicators certified by the NYSDEC to use or supervise the use of pesticides in the State of New York, people who are working under the supervision of certified applicator, or those who do not use pesticides as defined by FIFRA, but are licensed through the Home Improvement Division of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs. Any landscaper successfully completing this course shall be issued a certificate by the County Office of Consumer Affairs stating "I'm Organically Trained."
[Added 9-12-2000 by L.L. No. 25-2000]
F. 
Every person applying under this chapter for a license to engage in, or applying for the renewal of a license to engage in, home improvement contracting, as that term is used in this chapter, and who applies any fertilizer in the operation of such home contracting business shall take a turf management course approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Energy, pursuant to rules, regulations and standards to be promulgated by the Department of Environment and Energy.
[Added 12-18-2007 by L.L. No. 41-2007[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law provided an effective date of 1-1-2009. For additional provisions found in this local law, see Ch. 459, Fertilizer, Art. II, Sales and Use.
G. 
Any applicant seeking a license to engage in, or applying for the renewal of a license to engage in, home improvement contracting, and who builds and installs swimming pools and permanent spas over 24 inches in depth, must provide proof that he or she has obtained the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals’ Certified Building Professionals certification or other pool building certification approved by the Commissioner and demonstrate a minimum of two years of experience in the building and installation of pools. These requirements shall not apply to individuals licensed as electricians or plumbers pursuant to Article XI of this chapter.
[Added 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 27-2013]
H. 
Any applicant seeking a license to engage in, or applying for the renewal of a license to engage in, home improvement contracting, and who services the plumbing, heating and/or the electrical elements of swimming pools, permanent spas and/or portable spas, must provide proof that he or she has obtained the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals’ Certified Service Technician, Certified Service Professional or Certified Builder Professional certification, or other equivalent certification program approved by the Commissioner, and demonstrate a minimum of two years of experience and training in such servicing. These requirements shall not apply to individuals licensed as electricians or plumbers pursuant to Article XI of this chapter.
[Added 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 27-2013]
I. 
Applicants seeking to renew a license to engage in home improvement contracting and who engage in the building, installation or servicing of swimming pools, permanent spas and/or portable spas must provide documentation that the applicant has obtained a minimum of six hours of continuing education in their industry since their last license application or renewal.
[Added 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 27-2013[2]]
[2]
Editor’s Note: This local law also redesignated former Subsection G as Subsection J.
J. 
No applicant for a license renewal shall have any outstanding judgment for child support against him or her, or be in arrears in child-support payments as determined by official court records or official government records, at the time an application is filed for such license renewal. If an applicant has such a judgment against him or her, or is in such arrears, but is current in payments on a judicially approved payment schedule to pay off or reduce such judgment or arrears, then such individual shall not be deemed ineligible for a license renewal on the grounds of such judgment or arrears. At least 30 days prior to the expiration of a license, the Office shall send a written notice to a licensee informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this article pertaining to compliance with child-support obligations. If necessary, a second written notice shall be sent by the Office to a licensee 60 days after the license has lapsed informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this section pertaining to compliance with the child-support obligations. In addition, the County Department of Social Services, through its Child Support Enforcement Bureau, shall notify all current noncustodial parents of the obligations contained herein.
[Added 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994; amended 6-6-2000 by L.L. No. 11-2000; 9-12-2000 by L.L. No. 25-2000]
A. 
It is unlawful for any salesman, other than the individual who subscribes his name to the application for a home improvement contracting license pursuant to the provisions of § 563-5, to engage in any business on behalf of a home improvement contractor without obtaining an identification card from the Office, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this article and Article I. A salesman shall obtain an identification card for each licensed home improvement contracting business for which he is engaged.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
B. 
No identification card shall be issued unless a valid home improvement contracting license has been issued to the home improvement contractor on whose behalf such salesman is engaged.
C. 
A transfer on assignment of a license pursuant to the provisions of § 563-6F shall be deemed to transfer or assign without charge the identification cards of salesmen engaged by the original licensee.
D. 
The provisions of § 563-6K shall be inapplicable to salesmen.
[Amended 6-27-1975 by L.L. No. 12-1975; 6-6-1989 by L.L. No. 19-1989; 11-30-2001 by L.L. No. 23-2001; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
An application fee of $200 shall accompany each application for a home improvement contracting license.
[Amended 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 32-2008]
B. 
The fee for a home improvement contracting license or renewal thereof shall be $200 per annum.
C. 
The fee for an identification card or renewal thereof shall be $50 per annum for each salesman. No fee shall be charged for an application for a salesman's identification card.
D. 
The fee for additional identification cards issued to a salesman who is engaged for more than one licensee shall be $50 per annum for each additional card and for renewal thereof.
E. 
The license fee for an applicant qualifying under the provisions of § 563-24 shall be 1/2 of the fee as set forth in Subsection B of this section.
A. 
An identification card issued to a salesman may be suspended or revoked in the same manner as a license may be suspended or revoked pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
The provisions of § 563-9 with respect to fines shall be inapplicable to salesmen.
C. 
The acts of a salesman carried out in the ordinary course of business shall be deemed to be the acts of the licensee, and such licensee shall be responsible for such acts pursuant to the provisions of this article and Article I.
D. 
The suspension or revocation of a home improvement contracting license shall automatically suspend or revoke all identification cards issued to salesmen engaged by such licensee.
The following acts are prohibited:
A. 
Any fraud in the execution of or in the material alteration of any contract, mortgage, promissory note or any document incident to a transaction.
B. 
Preparing or executing any mortgage, promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness upon the obligation of the transaction with knowledge that it represents a greater monetary obligation than the agreed consideration for work performed.
C. 
Failure to enter into a written contract for work to be performed which specifies starting and completion dates, description of costs of labor and materials.
D. 
Willful or deliberate disregard in the violation of government building, sanitary, fire and health laws of the state or any political subdivision thereof in which the work is performed.
E. 
A failure to abide by any provision of § 771 of the New York State General Business Law.
[Added 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
[Amended 11-30-2001 by L.L. No. 23-2001; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
The Office shall issue a temporary license to any applicant for a home improvement contracting license if the Office has not, within 30 days after receipt of the application for such license, approved or disapproved the application.
B. 
The temporary license shall be for a period of 90 days. If within such ninety-day period the Office shall have failed to approve or disapprove the application, the Office shall then issue a regular license to the applicant. If the application is approved during the term of the temporary license, the Office shall issue a regular license to the applicant.
C. 
The fee for a temporary license shall be $50 per annum. The fee for a regular license issued to replace a temporary license shall be $150 for the first full year.
D. 
A regular license issued pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B shall expire on the last day of the 24th month following the issuance of the temporary license.
No license or identification card shall be required of:
A. 
An employee, other than a salesman or a person acting as a salesman, who performs labor or services for a licensed home improvement contractor for wages or salary.
B. 
An architect, professional engineer or any other person who is required by state or local law to attain standards of competency or experience as a prerequisite to engaging in such profession and who is acting exclusively within the scope of the profession for which he is currently licensed pursuant to such other law. Issuance of a certificate of competency by any other federal, state or municipal agency shall not constitute a license issuance and all such contractors holding such certificates shall be subject to this article.
[Amended 7-22-1975 by L.L. No. 15-1975]
C. 
A contractor engaged in the field of home maintenance or decorating.
[Amended 7-22-1975 by L.L. No. 15-1975; 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 10-1983; 9-22-1987 by L.L. No. 38-1987]
D. 
Any retail clerk, clerical, administrative or other employee of a licensed home improvement contractor who transacts business from an establishment.
[Added 6-27-1975 by L.L. No. 12-1975; amended 11-30-2001 by L.L. No. 23-2001; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
An applicant may qualify for a reduced license fee in accordance with § 563-19E if the applicant's net business or related personal income from the home improvement contracting business does not exceed $20,000 per annum, and further provided that such applicant is not incorporated. The Director may require such proof of eligibility under this provision as he may deem advisable and proper.
[Added 10-26-1982 by L.L. No. 25-1982]
A. 
Board. The County Executive, with the approval of the legislative body, shall appoint a seven-member Home Improvement Contracting Board to serve for a three-year term. Said Board shall determine the fitness of applicants for a home improvement contracting license and shall investigate and report on all proposed suspensions or revocations of licenses as hereinafter provided. Said Board shall be composed of individuals having a personal knowledge and interest in home improvement contracting, such as representatives of labor, management, trade or professional associations, and appropriate representatives of government. A Licensing Director shall be appointed by the Director and shall serve as secretary of the Board. The Director shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member of such Board.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
B. 
For the initial appointment only, three members of the Board shall be appointed for three-year terms, two members for two-year terms and two members for one-year terms. All appointments thereafter shall be for a three-year term.
C. 
Compensation. Each member of the Board shall be compensated at the rate of $100 for each official meeting thereof attended in pursuance of the duties of said Board, but not more than $1,500 in any calendar year.
[Amended 11-25-1997 by L.L. No. 25-1997[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
D. 
Powers and duties. The licensing board shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) 
To hold meetings at regular times and places for the efficient discharge of the responsibilities and duties of the Board.
(2) 
To make rules for the conduct of its meetings and to keep a minute book of its proceedings, including a record of its examinations and other official actions.
(3) 
To examine the qualifications and fitness of applicants applying for licenses under this article.
(4) 
To authorize the Director to issue a home improvement contracting license.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
(5) 
To conduct meetings and, after a hearing at which all interested parties are afforded a sufficient opportunity to be heard, submit recommendations to the Director relating to the suspension or revocation of home improvement contracting licenses for cause.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
(6) 
To keep records of licenses issued, suspended or revoked and to make such records available for public inspection.
(7) 
To prepare a manual of rules and regulations for the conduct of examinations and to furnish copies thereof to persons desiring the same.
(8) 
To formulate and recommend to the County Legislature, for adoption or amendment, a code of rules governing home improvement contracting, including the materials, workmanship and manner of executing such work. Before making such recommendations, the Board shall confer and meet with the representatives of the home improvement contracting industry and hold a hearing on the proposed rules. Reasonable prior notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given by publication in the official newspapers of the County.
(9) 
To formulate and recommend to the County Legislature, for adoption or amendment, rules and standards for the issuance, suspension and revocation of licenses and identification cards, including the conditions for the issuance of same, the type of examination required, the terms and fees and the conditions upon and the circumstances under which the same may be revoked or suspended.