According to the Home Improvement Act (the “Act”), a home improvement contractor has no legal right to payment if his contract is not entered into by a registered salesman or contractor and does not contain:
- the signatures of both the homeowner and contractor;
- notice of the homeowner’s cancellation rights; and
- a start date and a completion date.
Even if the homeowner testifies, under oath, that he requested the work, that the work was performed in a workmanlike manner, and he didn’t pay the amount he had agreed to pay, the contractor will still lose the lawsuit if the contract does not comply with the Act. Like most laws, however, there are exceptions to this rule.
A contractor may be able to get paid if a court finds that the homeowner was acting in “bad faith.” The Connecticut Appellate Court recently issued a decision that explains the limits of that exception.
In Lucien v. McCormick Construction, LLC, 122 Conn.App. 295 (Conn.App. 2010), the Connecticut Appellate Court refused to invoke the bad faith exception. The facts were that the homeowner:
- was represented by counsel;