ARTICLE 32 SUBSTITUTE A

 

RELATING TO CONTRACTOR'S REGISTRATION FEES

 

SECTION 1. Sections 5-65-1, 5-65-3, 5-65-9 and 5-65-24 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-65 entitled "Contractors' Registration" are hereby amended to read as follows:

 

5-65-1. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the contractors' registration board established pursuant to the provisions of Rhode Island general laws section 5-65-14.

(2) "Commission" means the building code commission supportive of the contractors' registration board.

(3) (i) "Contractor" means a person who, in the pursuit of an independent business, undertakes or offers to undertake or submits a bid, or for compensation and with or without the intent to sell the structure arranges to construct, alter, repair, improve, move over public highways, roads or streets or demolish a structure or to perform any work in connection with the construction, alteration, repair, improvement, moving over public highways, roads or streets or demolition of a structure, and the appurtenances thereto. "Contractor" includes, but is not limited to, any person who purchases or owns property and constructs or for compensation arranges for the construction of one or more structures.

(ii) A certificate of registration is necessary for each "business entity" regardless of the fact that each entity may be owned by the same individual.

(4) "Dwelling unit" means a single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.

(5) "Hearing officer" means a person designated by the executive director, with the approval of the director of the department of administration to hear contested claims or cases, contested enforcement proceedings, and contested administrative fines, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42.

(6) "Staff" means the executive director for the contractors' registration board, and any other staff necessary to carry out the powers, functions and duties of the board including inspectors, hearing officers and other supportive staff.

(7) "State" means the state of Rhode Island.

(8) "Structure" means (i) any commercial building or (ii) any building containing one or more residences and their appurtenances. The board's dispute resolution process shall apply only to residential structures containing dwelling units as defined in the state building code or residential portions of other types of buildings without regard to how many units any structure may contain. The board retains jurisdiction and may conduct hearings regarding violations against all contractors required to be registered.

(9) "Substantially" means any violation, which affects the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.

 

5-65-3. Registration for work on a structure required of contractor -- Issuance of building permits to unregistered or unlicensed contractors prohibited -- Evidence of activity as a contractor -- Duties of contractors. -- (a) A person shall not undertake, offer to undertake, or submit a bid to do work as a contractor on a structure or arrange to have work done unless that person has a current, valid certificate of registration for all construction work issued by the board. A partnership, corporation, or joint venture may do the work, offer to undertake the work, or submit a bid to do the work only if that partnership, corporation, or joint venture is registered for the work. In the case of registration by a corporation or partnership, an individual shall be designated to be responsible for the corporation's or partnership's work. The corporation or partnership and its designee shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the registration fee, as requested in this chapter, and for violations of any provisions of this chapter. Disciplinary action taken on a registration held by a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor may affect other registrations held by the same corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, and may preclude future registration by the principal of that business entity.

(b) A registered partnership or corporation shall notify the board in writing immediately upon any change in partners or corporate officers.

(c) A city, town, or the state shall not issue a building permit to anyone required to be registered under this chapter who does not have a current, valid certificate of registration identification card or valid license which shall be presented at the time of issuance of a permit and shall become a condition of a valid permit. Each city, town, or the state which requires the issuance of a permit as a condition precedent to construction, alteration, improvement, demolition, movement or repair of any building or structure or the appurtenance to the structure shall also require that each applicant for the permit file as a condition to issuing the permit a written affidavit subject to the penalties of perjury, subscribed by the applicant, that the applicant is registered under the provisions of this chapter, giving the number of the registration and stating that the registration is in full force and effect, or, if the applicant is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, listing the basis for the exemption. The city, town, or the state shall list the contractor's registration number on the permit obtained by that contractor, and if a homeowner is issued a permit, the building inspector or official must ascertain registration numbers of each contractor on the premises and shall inform the registration board of any non-registered contractors performing work at the site.

(d) Every city and town which requires the issuance of a business license as a condition precedent to engaging, within the city or town, in a business which is subject to regulation under this chapter, shall require that each licensee and each applicant for issuance or renewal of the license file, or has on file, with the city or town a signed statement that the licensee or applicant is registered under the provisions of this chapter and stating that the registration is in full force and effect.

(e) It shall be prima facie evidence of doing business as a contractor when a person for that person's own use performs, employs others to perform, or for compensation and with the intent to sell the structure, arranges to have performed any work described in section 5-65-1(3) if within any one twelve (12) month period that person offers for sale one or more structures on which that work was performed.

(f) Registration under this chapter shall be prima facie evidence that the registrant conducts a separate, independent business.

(g) The provisions of this chapter shall be exclusive and no city or town shall require or shall issue any registrations or licenses nor charges any fee for the regulatory registration of any contractor registered with the board. Nothing in this subsection shall limit or abridge the authority of any city or town to license and levy and collect a general and nondiscriminatory license fee levied upon all businesses, or to levy a tax based upon business conducted by any firm within the city or town's jurisdiction, if permitted under the laws of the state.

(h) (1) Every contractor shall maintain a list which shall include the following information about all subcontractors or other contractors performing work on a structure for that contractor:

(i) Names and addresses.

(ii) Registration numbers or other license numbers.

(iii) Contracts entered into must contain notice of right of rescission as stipulated in all pertinent Rhode Island consumer protection laws.

(iv) The contractor must stipulate whether or not all the proper insurances are in effect for each job contracted.

(v) (2) The list referred to in subdivision (h) (1) of this subsection shall be delivered to the board within twenty-four (24) hours after a request is made during reasonable working hours, or a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) may be imposed for each the offense.

(i) The following subcontractors who are not employees of a registered contractor must obtain a registration certificate prior to conducting any work: (1) carpenters, including finish carpenters and framers; (2) siding installers; (3) roofers; (4) foundation installers, including concrete installers and form installers; (5) drywall installers; (6) plasterers; (7) insulation installers; (8) ceramic tile installers; (9) floor covering installers; (10) swimming pool installers, both above ground and in ground; (11) masons, including chimney installers, fireplace installers, and general masonry erectors. This list is not all inclusive and shall not be limited to the above referenced contractors. No subcontractor licensed by another in-state agency pursuant to section 5-65-2 shall be required to register, provided that said work is performed under the purview of that license.

(j) A contractor including, but not limited to, a general contractor, shall not hire any subcontractor or other contractor to work on a structure unless the contractor is registered under this chapter or exempt from registration under the provisions of section 5-65-2.

(k) A summary of this chapter, prepared by the board and provided at cost to all registered contractors, shall be delivered by the contractor to the owner when the contractor begins work on a structure; failure to comply may result in a fine.

(l) The registration number of each contractor shall appear in any advertising by that contractor. Advertising in any form by an unregistered contractor shall be prohibited, including alphabetical or classified directory listings, vehicles, business cards, and all other forms of advertisements. The violations could result in a penalty being assessed by the board per administrative procedures established.

(i) The board may publish, revoke or suspend registrations and the date the registration was suspended or revoked on a quarterly basis.

(ii) Use of the word "license" in any form of advertising when only registered may subject the registrant or those required to be registered to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense at the discretion of the board. Provided, however, that fines issued for a violation of this subsection shall only be issued as a secondary offense actionable only in connection with a final order issued by the board for violations of other sections of this chapter.

(m) The contractor must see that permits required by the state building code are secured on behalf of the owner prior to commencing the work involved. The contractor's registration number must be affixed to the permit as required by the state building code.

(n) The board may assess an interest penalty when claims have been filed with the board at twelve percent (12%) annually.

(o) Effective October 1, 2006, all work performed, including labor and materials, in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall be accompanied by a contract in writing. Contracts required pursuant to this subsection shall include a location on or near the signature line location on or in which the parties to the contract shall initial to evidence the receipt of certain consumer education materials or information approved and provided by the board to the contractor. Said educational materials and/or information shall include, but not be limited to, the following notice and shall be provided by the contractor to the homeowner:

NOTICE OF POSSIBLE MECHANIC'S LIEN

To: Insert name of owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the simple fee. The undersigned is about to perform work and/or furnish materials for the construction, erection, alterations or repair upon the land at (INSERT ADDRESS) under contract with you. This is a notice that the undersigned and any other persons who provide labor and materials for the improvement under contract with the undersigned may file a mechanic's lien upon the land in the event of nonpayment to them. It is your responsibility to assure yourself that those other persons under contract with the undersigned receive payment for their work performed and materials furnished for the construction, erection, alteration or repair upon the land.

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this subsection may result in a one thousand dollars ($1,000) fine against the contractor.

(END OF FORM NOTICE)

(p) Contracts entered into must contain notice of right of rescission as stipulated in all pertinent Rhode Island consumer protection laws.

(q) The contractor must stipulate whether or not all the proper insurances are in effect for each job contracted.

 

5-65-9. Registration fee. (a) Each applicant shall pay to the board:

(1) For original registration or renewal of registration, a fee of one hundred twenty dollars ($120) two hundred ($200).

(2) A fee for all changes in the registration, as prescribed by the board, other than those due to clerical errors.

(b) All fees and fines collected by the board shall be deposited as general revenues to support the activities set forth in this chapter.

(c) Each year, the executive director shall prepare a proposed budget to support the programs approved by the board. The proposed budget shall be submitted to the board for its review. A final budget request shall be submitted to the legislature as part of the capital projects and property management annual request.

(d) New or renewal registrations may be filed online or with a third-party approved by the board, with the additional cost incurred to be borne by the registrant.

 

5-65-24. Limited applicability of chapter to non-residential contractors. -- (a) Notwithstanding anything set forth in this chapter to the contrary, the provisions of the following sections of this chapter shall not apply to any contractor who does not regularly in the course of his or her or its business as a contractor engage in construction activities as contemplated under this chapter on residential structures:

(1) section 5-65-3(p);

(1) (2) section 5-65-3(k);

(2) (3) section 5-65-4;

(3) (4) section 5-65-11;

(4) (5) section 5-65-12; and

(5) (6) section 5-65-18.

(b) Notwithstanding anything set forth in this chapter to the contrary, the provisions of the following sections of this chapter shall have only the limited applicability set forth below respecting any contractor who does not regularly in the course of his or her or its business as a contractor engage in construction activities as contemplated under this chapter on residential structures:

(1) the provisions of section 5-65-3(a) concerning the joint and several liability of applicable corporations or partnerships and their respective designees for the payment of the registration fee as requested in this chapter and for violations of any provisions of this chapter shall apply; and

(2) the provisions of section 5-65-10(a)(4) concerning violation of a rule or order of the board shall only apply to the extent that any such rule or order does not relate to or is not derived from one of the inapplicable provisions referenced in this section.

 

SECTION 2. This article shall take effect upon passage.