The Arizona Senate has unanimously passed Senate Bill 1116, which seeks to remove a law enacted in 2002 to help ensure that consumers could not be ripped off by their pool contractor. Many pool builders oppose the change in the law while the government would prefer to remove it.
The law passed in 2002 was in response to many supposed contractors taking large deposits from consumers and then disappearing and never even starting the job. The law makes it so that the contractor can only collect a $1,000 deposit at contract signing, 30% at excavation and then the last 10% before plastering the pool.
The law also removes a requirement that the license of a remodeling and repair contractor who doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance must be suspended.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors supports the new bill and believes it’s unfair that these restrictions are only imposed on pool contractors and not other contractors. They said that it is sometimes a burden on pool builders when they can’t collect enough money upfront for the project.
If the bill is passed by congress, consumers will still have a form of protection. Consumers who feel they have been misled by their contractor can file a complaint or initiate an investigation. If they pay for work that does not get done, consumers also have access to a 9 million recovery fund.
On the other hand, some local pool builders oppose the new law stating that that current payment schedule law protects consumers and establishes a standard for the industry. Some have said that the current regulation keeps the industry from getting a bad reputation
The spokesman for the Registrar of Contractors, Jim Knupp, said that the agency will still have the option to suspend a contractor if they fail to meet a contract or to produce satisfactory work.
The bill now heads to the House to possibly be passed.
Photo courtesy of Bill Jacobus by Flickr