Information on Ohio's Consumer Laws from Attorney Daniel Myers, Myers Law, LLC, not legal advice
The Ohio legislature has been active this year changing around longstanding consumer protection laws. First, law makers gave contractors the right to make an offer to their customers in order to avoid triple damages at trial. Now law makers have completely changed Ohio’s consumer law in regard to residential construction projects, and limited the types and amounts of damages homeowners can obtain from bad contractors. These new changes in HB 383, specifically written for and by the construction industry, are set to take effect August 31, 2012.
Under the old version of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), construction contractors had to comply with the formal requirements of the CSPA, including providing customers with different notices and various forms. If a contractor failed to do everything required, it could be liable for statutory and treble damages (triple damages) if sued by a homeowner.
Under the new law, Ohio contractors hired to perform work valued at $25,000 or more on a residence do not need to comply with the requirements of the CSPA. They may be forced to comply with other applicable laws, such as the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA) (3-day right to cancel), and they have to comply with new requirements under the new HB 383 law.
If the homeowner has a dispute with a contractor under the new law, and the value of the work is $25,000 or more, the homeowner can no longer recover triple damages. Attorney fees are still available, as are regular economic damages.
The upside of this new law is that contractors on these larger home construction projects must perform the minimum standards outlined by the Ohio Home Builder Association for residential construction work, which many times is a higher standard than the Ohio Residential Building Code. In some situations, contractors must provide even more information that they previously had to provide to consumers.
Only time will tell whether this law will help or hurt Ohio’s consumers. Contacting an attorney early in your dispute increases your chances of using this law in your favor.
Hi. Do I have the right to get my deposit money back($900) on a $1,800 contractor hired job that never started (ornamental column construction)in about 75 days after receiving the deposit? I ask the contractor for my deposit back and told him because he never started the job and never gave me an estimated date when he would start repeatedly and always said not yet and that because he forfeited to do the job he was hired for and he agreed to that I wanted my deposit back. Now he replies saying that he will do the job but that he is very behind schedule. But I said it’s too late for that now and that all I want is my deposit back. That I waited way too long. To send me my deposit back. What should I do? He hasn’t responded back since earlier this morning. Do I have the right to get the full deposit back? The one page contract does not say that the deposit is not refundable or that it is. It does not mentions that. What laws can I cite on my next email to him? I don’t want anything to do with him anymore after being very condescending and uninterested for months every time I asked for when he was going to start. Now I just want my money back. Thanks.
I cannot give legal advice out in the comment section like this, or publicly, because it might be a waiver of privilege. If you want information about your specific situation, feel free to contact our office via phone or the submission form on the contact us page. Happy to see if I can offer guidance.
Ok. I will call your office. Please erase the comment then please to keep this confidential. Thank you.