Can I Cancel My Home Improvement Contract?

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Undertaking a project in your home is often a big decision which comes with a lot of factors to weigh. Sometimes, despite your desires, you may be questioning whether you wish to continue with a home improvement project due to various factors and stressors in your life. If you have recently entered into a home improvement contract to have work done on your home, you may be wondering whether you can cancel that contract.

Massachusetts law provides for the cancellation of contracts in limited situations. One section of Massachusetts law that covers this issue of cancellation is Massachusetts Gen. Laws Chapter 93 section 48.

Generally, if you purchase services for over $25.00 at a place other than the merchants usual place of business you have three days to cancel that contract.

There are exceptions to this three-day cancellation policy which generally revolve around the situation you are involved in.

For example, if you have suffered windstorm damage to your roof and hire a roofer to make emergency repairs, you may not be able to cancel that contract for those emergency repairs.

If you suffer windstorm damage to your roof and you go to the roofing company store or their usual place of business and sign a contract for non-emergency repairs to your roof, you may not be able to cancel that contract because you signed it at the merchant’s place of business.

However, if the roofing company comes to your house and offers to repair your roof and you sign a contract while sitting at your kitchen table, you may be able to cancel that contract if you notify the seller in writing no later than midnight of the third business day after you have signed the contract.

If you find yourself in a situation such as this last example, the seller must return any payment or deposit within 10 days after receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the contract which you are looking to cancel is a home improvement contract, there should be language in that contract that allows for cancellation of the contract within three days of you signing the contract.

If you sign a home improvement contract and work begins within three days of you sign the contract, you most likely will be held responsible for any services and materials that have been provided by the contractor. If you cancel the contract, you will also most likely be responsible for any custom materials that were ordered by the contractor which may not be returnable.

Many times situations arise in which a homeowner will sign a contract for home repairs or improvement and realize halfway through the project that they may have made a mistake in hiring the contractor involved. At that point, it is suggested that you, the homeowner, do not fire off an angry letter firing the contractor.

A better option would be to gather your documents and consult with an attorney who focuses or concentrates in the protection of homeowners and their rights. Many times an attorney can review the various facts and documents and come up with alternatives that are beneficial to the homeowner.

DISCLAIMER: This and other segments posted on this website are offered for informational and discussion purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. This office only represents homeowners and property owners. We do not represent insurance companies. The information contained in this segment should not be considered to be legal advice.