County of Putnam
Local Law #9 of 2011
(Passed at the Regular Full Meeting April 5, 2011)
APPROVAL/LOCAL LAW TO AMEND CHAPTER 135 OF THE CODE OF THE
PUTNAM COUNTY ENTITLED “CONTRACTORS”.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the County of Putnam as follows:
Chapter 135 of the Code of Putnam County is hereby amended to read as follows:
§135-1. Legislative purpose.
It is the purpose of the Legislature of Putnam County in enacting this
chapter to safeguard and protect the homeowner against abuses on the part
of home improvement contractors by regulating the home improvement,
remodeling and repair businesses and by requiring the registration of such
persons engaged in such business. The County Legislature recognizes the
tradition of friend, neighbor and/or relative assisting a homeowner in selfinitiated home improvement projects and does not intend to impair this
tradition. Therefore, these traditions shall be taken into account by the
County Code Enforcement Officer and the Home Improvement Board of
Putnam County while using their discretionary powers in assessing and
enforcing Chapter 135 of the Home Improvement Contractors Law. Such
registration of those engaged in business will protect and promote the
health, safety and welfare of the residents of the County of Putnam,
pursuant to §10, Subdivision (12), of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings
BOARD – The Home Improvement Board of Putnam County, as provided
CUSTOM HOME – A new single-family residence to be constructed on a
parcel of land designated by a tax map number and owned by the purchaser
at the time of contract, provided that such residence is intended for
residential occupancy by such purchaser.
DIRECTOR – The Director of Consumer Affairs, Weights and Measures.
A. The repair, replacement, remodeling, refinishing, installation,
construction, alteration, conversion, modernization, beautification,
improvement or addition to a parcel of land designated by a tax map
number or a building or that portion thereof which is used or designed
to be used as a private residence apartment or dwelling place, including,
but not limited to: [Amended 12-4-2007 by L.L. No. 18-2007]
(1) Asphalt or blacktop or driveway sealing.
(2) Landscaping and gardening.
(4) Lawn mowing/ground maintenance/leaf blowing/or any similar outdoor
vocation. (Note: shall not apply to full-time students under the age of 22
engaged in seasonal or part-time employment and who do not have
(5) Swimming pools.
(6) Porches, patios, terraces, decks and any other outdoor stonework.
(7) Garages and garage doors.
(8) Central vacuum cleaning systems.
(9) Storm windows.
(15)Painting and wall coverings.
(16)Flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting.
(19)Awnings or siding.
(20)Antennas or satellite dishes.
(24)Other interior or exterior improvements.
B. “Home improvement” shall also mean the construction of a custom home,
the installation of home improvement goods or the furnishing of home
C. Notwithstanding the foregoing, “home improvement” shall not include:
(1) The sale or construction of a new home, other than a custom home
as defined in this section.
(2) The sale of goods or materials by a seller who neither arranges to
perform nor performs directly or indirectly any work or labor in
connection with the installation or application of the goods or materials.
(3) Work performed upon a residence by the owner, or upon a
building owned by or controlled by any federal, state or local
government, including school districts.
(4) The sale or installation of appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators,
freezers, room air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes washers or
dryers, which are designed to be removable from the premises
without material alteration thereof
(5) The sale or installation of decorative goods or services, such as
draperies and carpets.
(6) The performance of repairs, replacements, or other services pursuant to
an express or implied warranty, or a maintenance agreement as defined
in § 395-a of the New York
State General Business Law.
HOME IMPROVEMENT BUSINESS — The business of providing a home
improvement to an owner for a profit, fee, remuneration, favor or as part of a
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT — An agreement in writing or contained in
one or more documents, which is signed by the parties, for the performance of a
home improvement between a home improvement contractor and an owner.
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR — Any person, f irm or corporation who owns,
operates, maintains, controls, transacts or conducts a home improvement business
or who undertakes or advertises a home improvement service, or offers to undertake
or agrees to perform any home improvement for the owner for a fee, remuneration,
favor or as part of a barter agreement, other than a bona fide employee of the
registrant. “Home improvement contractor” does not include a person, firm,
corporation, landlord, cooperative corporation, condominium board of managers,
joint tenant or co-tenant that owns, in whole or in part, the property to be improved.
LEGISLATURE — The Putnam County Legislature.
OWNER — Any homeowner, tenant, or any other person who orders, contracts
for or purchases a home improvement or the service of a contractor, or the
person entitled to the performance of the work of a contractor pursuant to a
home improvement contract.
PERSON — An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, trust, owner,
contractor, salesman or other legal entity.
REGISTRANT — A person registered to engage in the home improvement business
under the provisions of this chapter.
SUBCONTRACTOR — A person, other than a supplier of materials or laborer, who
enters into a contract, written or verbal, with a contractor for the performance of any
part of the contractor’s contract, or a subcontractor’s contract, as the case may be,
and who does not perform work other than as a subcontractor.
§ 135-3. Registration required; home improvement business.
A. Registration required. No person shall maintain, conduct, operate or
engage in a home improvement business within the County of Putnam, or
hold himself or herself out as being able to do so, unless such person is
registered pursuant to this chapter.
(1) No registration shall be required of any person who performs labor
or services for a contractor or subcontractor duly registered
hereunder for wages or salary.
(2) A license issued by the Putnam County Plumbing Board or the Putnam
County Board of Examiners for Electrical Contractors shall be deemed a
registration in compliance with this section for the benefit of the holder
thereof to perform work within the scope of his or her profession.
C. Rules governing registration application.
(1) An application for an original or renewal registration required by this
subsection shall be in writing upon a form prescribed by the Director.
The Director may seek from an applicant sufficient relevant information
about the applicant’s character, experience, financial stability and other
relevant information necessary to evaluate the applicant’s qualification
to be registered.
(2) Each application shall be accompanied by a surety license and permit
bond in the amount of $25,000 with a minimum policy term of two
years, conditioned upon the assurance that during the term of the
registration, the registrant will continue to comply with the provisions
of this title to assure that upon default in the performance of any
contract, the advance payments made thereon, less the reasonable
value of services actually rendered to the date of such default, of the
reasonable costs of completion of the contract in the event of
noncompletion thereof, will be refunded to the purchaser, owner or
lessee with whom such contract was made. In addition, the bond shall
inure to the benefit of any owner with whom the registrant shall enter
into any home improvement contract or provide any home
improvement during the period of registration.
(3) Each applicant shall be required to provide a valid certificate of liability
insurance naming Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs as a
certificate holder and additional insured.
(4) Each applicant shall provide proof that worker’s compensation insurance is
in full force and effect for all workers within the applicant’s employ, including
subcontractor personnel, along with the application.
(5) Each applicant shall provide the Director with a copy of his or her photo
identification as a precondition to the issuance of a registration.
(6) Effective May 9, 2011, each applicant for an original or renewal registration
when applicable shall provide the Director with proof of completion of a best
management practices course for lawn and garden care as required per §
135-4 of this chapter.
D. Content of registration application.
(1) An application for an original or renewal registration required by this section
shall be in writing upon a form prescribed by the Director.
(2) In addition to that information sought on an application for registration, the
Director, or his or her duly authorized designee, may seek from an applicant
such sufficient and relevant information about the applicant’s character,
experience, financial stability and other relevant information necessary to
evaluate the applicant’s qualifications to be registered.
(3) All applications for an original or renewal registration certificate shall include
a representation by the applicant, in a form as determined by the Putnam
County Legislature, that he or she will (a) use the E-Verify Internet-based
system, operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in
partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), to verify the
employment authorization of his or her newly hired employees, and (b)
maintain records documenting his or her use of E-Verify during the term of his
or her registration certificate. If such representations are not made, such
registration certificate will not be issued. All applications shall also be
accompanied by documentation issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security indicating that the applicant has registered as an E-Verify user, An
applicant’s failure to comply with the provisions as described herein shall
constitute grounds for the imposition of a fine and/or the suspension or
revocation of a registration certificate and/or the denial of an application for
the renewal of a registration certificate, in accordance with the applicable
provisions of this chapter. This subsection shall not apply to applicants who
have no employees or applicants who reasonably anticipate that no employees
will be hired during the term of such registration certificate. [Added 4-7-2009
by L.L. No. 72009]
E. Proper display of registration.
(1) Each and every registration certificate issued pursuant to this chapter shall be
posted in a conspicuous location at the registrant’s place of business, and a
wallet identification card, which shall contain a photograph of the holder
thereof and which shall be issued by the Director, shall be carried with each
contractor or employee and displayed upon request. The registration number
shall be included on all documents distributed by the registrant, including all
(2) Each registrant shall be required to affix to a location to be determined by the
Director on all vehicles owned/leased or used in the performance of the
occupation so registered, a valid sticker in a form to be determined by the
(a) Said bumper sticker shall be provided by the Putnam County
Department of Consumer Affairs.
(b) Each registrant shall be issued one bumper sticker at no cost at
the time of registration. Any additional stickers shall be provided
to registrant at a cost to be determined by the Director on an
(c) A valid vehicle registration must be provided at the time of
registration, renewal or at any time in which a sticker is requested.
(d) All stickers issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain the
property of the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs.
F. Assignment or transfer of registration.
(1) A registration to conduct a home improvement business issued to an
individual may be assigned or transferred for the remainder of the
registration period to a partnership or corporation if the registrant is a
member of such partnership or a stockholder of such corporation
owning not less than 25% of the outstanding stock at the time of such
assignment or transfer, and the remaining stockholders or partners meet
the requirements of this chapter.
(2) Registration of a partnership may be assigned or transferred or the
remainder of the registration period to any one member of such
partnership, provided that he or she obtains the consent of all of the
other members of such partnership and otherwise meets the
requirements of this chapter.
G. Miscellaneous provisions governing registration.
(1) Any change in status, ownership, management, address, trade name or
other material change shall be communicated to the Director, in writing, within
15 days of said change.
(2) Unless suspended, revoked or voluntarily surrendered, any registration
issued hereunder shall expire on the last day of the 24th month after issuance.
(3) The Director, or his or her duly authorized designee, shall use the EVerify Internet based system, operated by the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration
(SSA), to verify the status of all applicants for a registration certificate
prior to such certificate being issued. [Added 4-7-2009 by L.L. No. 7-
§ 135-4. Educational Requirements; home improvement business providing lawn and
A. Effective May 9, 2011, this section shall apply to all home improvement
businesses that offers to provide or provides lawn or turf services as follows:
(1) Every home improvement business that offers to provide or provides
lawn or turf services, shall be required to participate and complete a
best management practices course for lawn and garden care approved
by the Putnam County Commissioner of Health.
(2) Effective May 9, 2011, all applications for registration shall include proof of
participation and completion of a best management practices course for
lawn and garden care pursuant to this section and as further prescribed
by the Director.
(3) Effective May 9, 2011, all applications for renewal of registration shall
include proof of completion of a best management practices course for
lawn and garden care pursuant to this section and as further prescribed
by the Director.
(4) The participation and completion of a best management practice course for
lawn and garden care is a one-time education requirement, unless directed
otherwise in accordance with this section. Once proof is accepted by the
Director, it shall apply to each subsequent renewal application thereafter as
further prescribed under this chapter.
(5) If a registered Home Improvement Business can provide a certificate that
verifies that he/she has participated and completed a “best management
practices course for lawn and garden care” from another municipality
and/or state, such certificate shall be deemed acceptable for compliance
with this section.
B. The Director, in consultation with the Putnam County Commissioner of Health,
may require the participation of such persons at additional informational seminars
and/or courses at reasonable times but no more than once per year in order to
ensure that all persons are informed of developing issues, technologies, and laws
which may impact the performance of services by such persons in Putnam
C. The Director, in consultation with the Putnam County Commissioner of Health,
shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations as may be deemed
necessary for the administration and enforcement of this section.
§ 135-5. Home improvement contracts.
A. Every home improvement contract, as defined herein, subject to the
provisions of this chapter, and all amendments thereto, shall be evidenced
by a writing and shall be signed by all parties to the contract. The writing
shall contain the following:
(1) The name, address, telephone number, registration or license number of the
(2) The approximate dates, or estimated dates, when the work will
begin and be substantially completed, including a statement of any
contingencies that would materially change the approximate or
estimated completion date. In addition to the estimated or
approximate dates, the contract shall also specify whether or not
the contractor and the owner have determined a definite
completion date to be of the essence.
(3) A description of the work to be performed, the materials to be
provided to the owner, including make, model number or any other
identifying information, and the agreed upon consideration for the
work and materials.
(4) A notice to the owner purchasing the home improvement that the contractor or
subcontractor who performs on the contract and is not paid may have a claim
against the owner which may be enforced against the property in accordance
with applicable lien laws.
(5) A notice to the owner purchasing the home improvement that, except as
otherwise provided in Subsection A(7) herein, the home improvement
contractor is legally required to deposit all payments received prior to
completion in accordance with Subdivision 4 of § 71-a of the Lien Law and
that, in lieu of such deposit, the home improvement contractor may post a
bond, contract of indemnity or irrevocable letter of credit with the owner
guaranteeing the return or proper application of such payments to the
purposes of the contract.
(6) If the contract provides for one or more progress payments to be paid to the
home improvement contractor by the owner before substantial completion of
the work, a schedule of such progress payments showing the amount of each
payment, as a sum in dollars and cents, and specifically identifying the state
of completion of the work or services to be performed, including any
materials to be supplied before each such progress payment is due. The
amount of any such progress payments shall bear a reasonable relationship
to the amount of work to be performed, materials to be purchased or
expenses for which the contractor would be obligated at the time of the
(7) If the contract provides that the home improvement contractor will be paid on
a specified hourly or time basis for work that has been performed or charges
for materials that have been supplied prior to the time that payment is due,
such payments for such work or materials shall not be deemed to be progress
payments for the purposes of Subsection A(6) and shall not be required to be
deposited in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A(5).
(8) A notice to the owner that, in addition to any right otherwise to revoke an
offer, the owner may cancel the home improvement contract until midnight of
the third business day after the day on which the owner has signed an
agreement or offer to purchase relating to such contract. Cancellation occurs
when written notice of cancellation is given to the home improvement
contractor. Notice of cancellation, if given by mail, shall be deemed given
when deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and postage prepaid. Notice
of cancellation shall be sufficient if it indicates the intention of the owner not
to be bound. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this subsection shall not apply to a
transaction in which the owner has initiated the contract and the home
improvement is needed to meet a bona fide emergency of the owner and the
owner furnishes the home improvement contractor with a separate dated and
signed personal statement in the owner’s handwriting describing the situation
requiring immediate remedy and expressly acknowledging and waving the
right to cancel the home improvement contract within three business days.
For the purposes of this subsection, the terms “owner” shall mean an owner
or any representative of an owner.
(9) A notice that all inquiries and complaints or issues about a contractor should
be made to the Director, in writing, with copies transmitted to the Board.
B. The writing shall be legible, in plain English so that it is understood by
both parties to the contract, and shall be in such form to describe clearly
any other document which is to be incorporated into the contract. Before
any work is done, the owner shall be furnished a copy of the written
agreement, signed by the contractor. The writing may also contain other
matters agreed to by the parties to the contract.
§ 135-6. Home Improvement Board.
A. The Home Improvement Board, hereinafter referred to as the “Board,” shall
consist of nine members and one alternate member. The members of such
Board shall be residents of the County and shall be appointed by the Legislature
(1) Two members who are primarily engaged in business as home improvement
(2) One member who is primarily engaged in business as a licensed
engineer or building inspector.
(3) Three members who are citizens independent of the home improvement
(4) Three members who are primarily engaged in business as a tradesman.”
B. Of the members first appointed, five shall be appointed for a term of one year, and
four shall be appointed for a term of two years. Their successors shall be
appointed for a term of two years from and after expiration of the terms of their
predecessors in office.
C. The Board shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from its own members.
D. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
E. The Legislature shall fill any vacancy of said Board for the unexpired portion of the
upon the recommendation of the Board.
F. A member of the Board may be removed by the Legislature for misfeasance or
malfeasance in office, incompetency, incapacity, neglect of duty or other good
and sufficient cause, including absenteeism from meetings of 50% or greater
within a one-year period.
G. The Director shall have the power to temporarily suspend a registrant from
engaging in the home improvement business within the County of Putnam for a
maximum of 30 days upon an initial determination by the Director that such a
registrant is in violation of this chapter. Within 30 days of the issuance of a
temporary suspension order, the Board shall convene for a special meeting to
consider a full revocation or suspension of the registration pursuant to §135-11.
§ 135-7. Powers and Duties of Board.
The Board shall have the following powers and duties in addition to those elsewhere
prescribed in this chapter:
A. To hold meetings at least one time per month, and at such other times as the
Board may determine as necessary or desirable for the efficient discharge of the
business of the Board. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. The
Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member
upon every question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall
also keep records of all of its other official actions.
B. To adopt rules and regulations in respect to procedure before it and in
respect to any subject matter over which it has jurisdiction under this chapter
or any other law, which such rule or regulation shall not be inconsistent with
the various provisions of this chapter, after a public hearing is held by the
Board and subject to the approval of the Legislature. Upon adoption and
approval of such rules and regulations, same shall be duly filed with the
Clerk of the Legislature and with the Director.
C. To prepare a manual of its rules and regulations and to furnish copies
thereof to persons desiring the same for a fee as fixed by the Board.
D. To hold hearings on complaints and charges which have been filed by
homeowners or the Director of Consumer Affairs, and to make findings of
fact and impose penalties and sanctions, in accordance with the provisions
of §135-11 hereof.
§ 135-8. Powers and duties of Director.
The Director or his or her duly authorized designee shall have the following
powers and duties in addition to those elsewhere prescribed in this chapter:
A. To establish categories of registration under this chapter and to set fees
therefor, subject to the approval of the Legislature.
B. To examine the qualifications and fitness of registrants for registration under
this chapter or of the representatives of such applicants designated for such
C. To register applicants possessing or whose representatives
possess the requisite qualifications.
D. To suspend or revoke registrations in accordance with the various terms and
provisions of this chapter.
E. To keep records of all registrations issued, suspended or revoked.
F. To employ experts, clerks and secretaries and to pay for their services and such
other expenses as may be necessary and proper, not exceeding in all the
appropriation that may be made therefor by the Legislature (for such Board). The
Legislature is hereby authorized and empowered to make such appropriations as
it may see fit for such expenses; the amount of appropriation shall be the
estimated charges and expenses, less fees, if any, collected.
G. To adopt such rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this
chapter as may be necessary with respect to the form and content of
applications for registration, the receipt thereof, the investigation and
examination of applicants and their qualifications, and the other matters
incidental or appropriate to his powers and duties as prescribed by this chapter
and for the proper administration and enforcement of the various provisions of
this chapter, and to amend or repeal any of such rules and regulations.
H. To suspend the registration of any person pending payment of any fine
or penalty, pending compliance with any order of the Director or the
Department of Consumer Affairs or with any other lawful order of the
Department of Consumer Affairs.
I. To automatically suspend the registration of any person who has failed to
maintain the required insurance or bond, as outlined in §135-3 hereof; during the
full term of his or her registration, which such suspension shall be retroactive to
the date upon which said insurance or bond had been canceled or revoked, and to
reinstate any such registration upon proof that the aforesaid insurance or bond
requirement has been fully complied with.
J. To issue appearance tickets, summonses, information, or any other legal process
necessary to effectuate the provisions of this chapter.
K. To investigate alleged violations of § 135-3D(3) herein. The Director, or his or her
duly authorized designee, shall be entitled to request and review records maintained
by registrants which demonstrate their compliance with said § 135-3D(3). Upon the
completion of an investigation, the Director shall have the power to forward his or
her findings to the Board for the institution of proceedings pursuant to §135-11
herein. The determination of the Board shall be subject to judicial review in any
court of competent jurisdiction. [Added 4-7-2009 by L.L. No. 7-2009]
§ 135-9. Prohibited acts.
The following acts are strictly prohibited:
A. Abandonment or failure to perform, without justification, any home
improvement contract or project engaged in or undertaken by the
B. Making any substantial misrepresentation in the procurement of a home
improvement contract, or making any false promise likely to influence, persuade
C. Any fraud in the execution of or in the material alteration of a home improvement
contract, or making any false promise likely to influence, persuade or induce.
D. Any fraud in the execution of or in the material alteration of any contract,
mortgage, promissory note or other document incident to a home improvement
E. Preparing or accepting any mortgage, promissory note or other evidence of
indebtedness upon the obligation of a home improvement transaction with
knowledge that it represents a greater monetary obligation than the agreed-upon
consideration for the home improvement work.
F. Directly or indirectly publishing any advertisement relating to home
improvements which contains an assertion, representation or statement
of fact which is false, deceptive or misleading, provided that any
advertisement which is subject to and complies with then existing rules,
regulations or guides of the Federal Trade Commission shall not be
deemed false, deceptive or misleading; or by any means or advertising or
purporting to offer the general public any home improvement work with
the intent not to accept contracts for the particular work or at the price
which is advertised or offered to the public.
G. Disregard and violation of the building, sanitary and health laws of
this state or of any political or municipal subdivision thereof.
H. Failure to notify the Director, in writing, of any change or control in
ownership, management or business name or location.
I. Conducting a home improvement business in any name other than the
one in which the contractor is registered.
J. Failure to comply with any order, demand or requirement made by the
Director pursuant to the various provisions of this chapter.
K. Failure to list registration number in any and all advertisements for the
registered home improvement contracting business.
L. Failure to maintain the proper insurance, surety license and permit
bond, as required by § 135-3 hereof.
M. Failure to provide proof of completion of a best management practices
course for lawn and garden care, as required by §135-4 hereof.
§ 135-10. Grant or denial of registration or renewal.
A. Within 60 days after receipt of a complete application in proper form, the
Director, and his or her duly authorized designee, shall grant or deny it. The
Director shall grant the registration or renewal unless it is determined that
(I) Is not financially responsible.
(2) Is unqualified to engage in the home improvement business.
(3) Has failed to furnish information as required.
(4) Has made a false statement of a material fact or a material omission in the
application for the registration.
(5) Has consistently failed to perform contracts.
(6) Has manipulated assets or accounts or has engaged in fraud or bad faith.
(7) Has failed to carry and maintain worker’s compensation, public liability
insurance and a surety bond as required by § 135-3 of this chapter.
(8) Has been subject to the imposition of penalties or sanctions as a result of a
hearing held by the Board upon a violation of any provision of this chapter at
least two times in the past two years.
B. Military service exceptions.
(1) Registrants who are called to active duty will have their registrations frozen
as of the date of their deployment. Upon return from active duty, the
registrant will provide documentation to the secretary of the Home
Improvement Board detailing the dates of his or her deployment and proof he
or she meets all other requirements of the Home Improvement Law prior to
the reactivation of his or her frozen registration. If the deployment was
greater than 30 days, the registrant will be credited for each day of military
deployment, and his or her registration will be extended by a similar number of
(2) Once the reactivated registration expires, the registrant’s renewal
registration will be credited with the same amount of credit time as the hold
accrued during his or her “frozen” period. All fees charged for that year will
be prorated to take into account this credit time.
(3) This military service exception will be retroactive to any deployment that
occurred after September 11, 2001.
C. A denial of a registration or renewal shall be made by the Director in writing and
shall set forth a statement of the reason or reasons therefor. If the registration or
renewal is refused, the applicant may, within 10 days from the date the notice of
refusal is mailed, request a hearing. Such hearing must be held within 30 days
of the request and the Director must render a decision within a reasonable time,
but in no case shall such time be more than 45 days from the date of the
hearing. Said hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures
outlined in §135-11 hereof
D. The determination made by the Director shall be subject to judicial review in
accordance with Article 78 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules in a
proceeding brought within four months after the Director issues a written denial.
§ 135-11. Civil penalties or procedures.
A. The Board and/or Director may revoke or suspend for a period of time the
registration issued under this chapter in accordance with the procedure set forth
in Subsections B, C and D of this section. Grounds for suspension, revocation or
any other penalty included in Subsection G hereof shall include grounds to deny a
registration renewal under §135-10, or the commission by a registrant/person of an
act or acts in violation of §135-5 and §135-9, or any violation described in §135-12
B. In order to commence the hearing process, the Director shall forward written
notice to the registrant/person by registered or certified mail to the address given
in the application made by the registrant/person for said registration, which such
notice shall contain the following:
(1) A copy of the charges upon which the hearing is brought;
(2) A notice of the fact that the registrant/person shall answer the charges in
writing within 10 days of the date of the written notice;
(3) The date of the hearing to be held before the Board;
(4) Notice of the fact that the registrant/person has the right to be represented
by counsel at said hearing;
(5) Notice of the fact that the registrant/person has the opportunity to call
witnesses to testify at said hearing; and
(6) Notice of the potential penalties which may imposed upon the
registrant/person if the Board concludes that the registrant/person has
committed the offenses for which he has been charged.
C. The Director shall have the power to subpoena witnesses to testify and to
produce documents at said hearing.
D. A hearing shall be held before the Home Improvement Board on the
charges within 60 days of the date of the written notice outlined in
Subsection B of this section. A record of such hearing shall be made and
kept by the Board.
E. At such hearing, the registrant/person may be represented by counsel and
may offer evidence in his or her behalf. Compliance with technical rules of
evidence shall not be required, but evidence must be relevant and material.
The burden of proving the charges by substantial evidence shall be upon
the Director, or his or her duly authorized designee. Once the Board hears
all of the testimony, it shall issue findings of fact, and shall make a
determination as to the penalties or sanctions to be imposed upon the
registrant/person, if any, within 90 days. Such determination shall be
subject to judicial review in accordance with Article 78 of the New York
State Civil Practice Law and Rules in a proceeding brought within four
months of when written determination is rendered.
F. Subsequent to receipt of the findings of fact and determinations of the
Board, the Director, or his or her duly authorized designee, shall immediately
notify the registrant/person in writing, by registered or certified mail, of the
penalties which have been imposed upon him or her, their effective date,
and the length of time in which the registrant/person will be subject to and
restrained by such penalties or sanctions.
G. Any one or a combination of the following sanctions and penalties may be
recommended by the Director as a result of a hearing held in accordance
with the provisions of Subsections B, C, D, E and F hereof, and which may
be imposed upon a registrant/person by the Board:
(1) Issuance of a written warning to the registrant/person, the content of
which shall be determined by the Director;
(2) Suspend the registration for such period of time as shall be
recommended by the Director and determined by the Board;
(3) Revoke the registration for a specified period of time as recommended by
the Director and determined by the Board;
(4) Payment of a civil penalty, as recommended by the Director and
determined by the Board, which amount shall not exceed $5,000;
(5) The requirement that the registrant/person provide restitution, in whole or in
part, to the aggrieved homeowner, if any.
§ 135-12. Criminal violations.
Specific violations and penalties.
A. It shall be a Class A Misdemeanor, as defined in the New York State Penal
Law, punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year and a
fine not exceeding $1,000, to own, operate, conduct or hold oneself out as
being able to conduct a home improvement business in Putnam County
without registration as required by this chapter, either individually or
through another, or to continue to own, operate or conduct a home
improvement business after such registration has been denied, suspended,
revoked or has expired.
B. It shall be a violation, as defined in New York State Penal Law,
punishable by a term of imprisonment-not exceeding 15 days and a fine
not exceeding $250, to:
(1) Make a false statement or provide false information in making
application for registration, including a renewal or duplicate;
(2) Fail to notify the Director, in writing, of any change of control in the
ownership, management or business name or location of a home
improvement business within 15 days thereof;
(3) Fail to adhere to any of the requirements as set forth in § 135-5 of this
(4) Abandon or fail to perform or complete, without justification, any home
improvement contract or deviate from the plans or specifications of a
home improvement contract in any material respect without the consent
of the owner;
(5) Fail to disclose on all advertising for a home improvement business
and in all contracts with an owner for a home improvement the
registration number issued pursuant to this chapter or to advertise in a
false, deceptive or misleading manner;
(6) Fail to maintain proper insurance and bonds as required in §135-3 of
(7) Fail to establish or maintain financial solvency, taking into account the scope
and size of a person’s business in relation to the person’s total current assets,
liabilities, credit rating, net worth and circumstances affecting solvency. Such
financial information shall be confidential and not a public record, but, where
relevant, shall be admissible as evidence in any administrative hearing or
judicial action or proceeding;
(8) Possess a lack of ability to engage in home improvement contracting as
evidenced by work performed in a poor and unworkmanlike manner or the
work involved is inadequate or incomplete;
(9) Make any substantial misrepresentation in the procurement of a home
improvement contract or make any false promise of character likely to
influence, persuade or induce;
(10)Perpetuate any fraud in the execution of or in the material alteration of
any contract, mortgage, promissory note or other document incident to a
home improvement transaction;
(11)Prepare or accept any mortgage, promissory note, or other evidence of
indebtedness upon the obligation of a home improvement transaction with
knowledge that it recites a greater monetary obligation than the agreed
consideration for the home improvement work;
(12)Publish any advertisement directly or indirectly relating to home
improvements which contains an assertion, representation or statement of
fact which is false, deceptive or misleading;
(13)Conduct a home improvement business in any manner other than the one in
which the contractor is registered;
(14)Failure to comply with any order, demand or requirement lawfully made by the
Director under and within the authority of this chapter;
(15) Demand or receive any payments prior to the signing of a home
(16) Receive at or before the time of execution of a contract, a deposit
of more than 1/3 of the contract price; and
(17)Failure to display a valid registration sticker as per
§ 135-13. Fees.
A. The fee for a registration to conduct a home improvement business, which
shall be for a term of two years, shall be $250. Fees for renewals received
after the expiration date shall be $275. The fee for issuing a duplicate
registration for one lost, destroyed or mutilated shall be $20.
B. The fee for participation in a lawn or turf services course shall be
determined by the Director in consultation with the Putnam County
Commissioner of Health, subject to the approval of the Legislature.
C. The Director shall refund $50 of the fee paid by any applicant in the event
that the application for a registration is denied or the applicant for the
registration has predeceased its issuance or has been inducted into the
military service prior to the issuance. Such refund is subject to approval by
the Director and after audit by the Commissioner of Finance.
§ 135-14. Advertising.
All advertising for a home improvement business shall contain the
registration number issued pursuant to this chapter.
§ 135-15. Construal; other licenses.
A. Any registration issued pursuant to this chapter shall not be
construed to authorize the registrant to perform any particular type of
work or kind of business that is reserved to qualified licensees under
separate provisions of state or local law.
B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or restrict the power of a
town or village to regulate the quality, performance or character of the
work of contractors, including a system of permits and inspections that are
designed to secure compliance with and aid in the enforcement of
applicable state and local building laws or to enforce other laws necessary
for the protection of the public health and safety. Nothing in this chapter
shall be construed to limit or restrict the power of a town or village to
adopt any system or permits requiring submission to and approval by the
town or village of plans and specifications for an installation prior to the
commencement of construction of the installation of or inspection of work
C. This chapter relates only to the area of Putnam County. Notwithstanding,
any village or town within Putnam County may preempt this chapter by
expressly stating such and enacting its own regulating or licensing of the
home improvement business.
§ 135-16. Provisions not subject to waiver.
The provisions of this chapter are intended for the protection of an owner and
shall not be subject to waiver by an owner in a home improvement contract
§ 135-17. Applicability.
A. Nothing set forth in this chapter shall subject the County of Putnam or its
officials, agents, or employees to liability for damages or otherwise arising
out of or related to the conduct of any home improvement business by a
B. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any home improvement to
be performed under a home improvement contract entered into prior to the
effective date of this chapter.
C. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, this chapter
shall not apply to:
(1) Plumbing, as defined in Chapter 190, Plumbers;
(2) Electrical, as defined in Chapter 145, Electricians; and
(3) Work or services performed by a person within the scope of an
occupation, craft, or profession in which such person has met the
standards of competency or experience established by state law as a
condition to engaging in such occupation, craft or profession.
D. The Director is empowered to establish administrative procedures to carry
out the provisions of this chapter in conformity with the provisions thereof.
This local law shall take effect immediately.
County of Putnam