Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 65
Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-65-1

§ 5-65-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Appurtenances” means any accessory improvement to real estate associated with a primary structure.

(2) “Board” means the contractors’ registration and licensing board established pursuant to the provisions of § 5-65-14 or its designees.

(3) “Claim” means that portion of a complaint that pertains to the complainant’s assertion that they are entitled to monetary damages, an order for specific performance of work and/or other contractual or equitable relief or remedies on account of allegations or disputes between themself and a contractor or themself and a subcontractor.

(4) “Claim for retainage” means an allegation that a person seeking payment of retainage breached the person’s contract for the project; provided, however, that a “claim” related to a project with a contract value of not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) shall be subject to the applicable dispute resolution procedure, notice, and other requirements in the contract for construction.

(5) “Complaint” means a written complaint submitted to the board or office with allegations against or disputes involving a contractor, which may contain a claim component and/or allegations that a contractor has violated provisions of this chapter or the regulations promulgated hereunder.

(6) “Contract for construction” means a contract for which a lien may be established under chapter 28 of title 34 or for state or municipal public works projects as defined in title 37 on a project for which the person on whose contract with the project owner has an original contract price of not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); provided, however, that “contract for construction” shall not include a project containing, or designed to contain, at least one, but not more than four (4), dwelling units.

(7)(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 constructs, alters, repairs, improves, moves over public highways, roads, or streets, or demolishes 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. For the purposes of this chapter, “appurtenances” includes, but is not limited to, the installation, alteration, or repair of wells connected to a structure consistent with chapter 13.2 of title 46, garage, carport, porch, patio, decks, docks, sheds, tents, gazebos, walkways, fencing, driveways, retaining walls, swimming pools, sidewalks, stone/masonry walls, and parking lots.

(ii) “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.

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

(8) “Deliverable” means a project close-out document that shall be submitted by the person seeking payment of retainage under the person’s contract for construction; provided, however, that a lien waiver or release, which is a deliverable, shall comply with chapter 28 of title 34; provided, further, that “deliverable” shall not include any document affirming, certifying, or confirming completion or correction of labor, materials, or other items furnished or incomplete or defective work.

(9) “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.

(10) “Hearing officer” means a person designated by the director of the department of business regulation or the director’s designee to hear contested cases, contested enforcement proceedings, contested administrative fines, and to render decisions or orders in accordance with the “administrative procedures act,” chapter 35 of title 42.

(11) “Incomplete or defective work” means labor, materials, or any other item required for full performance by a person seeking payment of retainage that remains to be furnished by the person under the person’s contract for construction or that has been furnished by the person but requires correction, repair, further completion, revision, or replacement; provided, however, that “incomplete or defective work” shall not include deliverables or labor, materials, or any other item to be repaired or replaced after substantial or final completion pursuant to a warranty, guarantee, or other contractual obligation to correct defective work after substantial or final completion.

(12) “Monetary damages” means the dollar amount required in excess of the contract amount necessary to provide the claimant with what was agreed to be provided under the terms of the contract reduced by any amount due and unpaid to the respondent inclusive of any and all awards and restitution.

(13) “Office” means the state building office established pursuant to § 5-84-3.1.

(14) “Person” means any natural person, joint venture, partnership, corporation, or other business or legal entity who or that enters into a contract for construction.

(15) “Prime contractor” means a person who or that enters into a contract for construction with the project owner.

(16) “Retainage” means a portion or percentage of a payment due pursuant to a contract for construction that is withheld to ensure full performance of the contract for construction.

(17) “Staff” means any staff necessary to carry out the powers, functions, and duties of the board, or the office, including inspectors, hearing officers, and other supportive staff.

(18) “State” means the state of Rhode Island.

(19) “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 or licensed by the board.

(20) “Substantial completion” means the stage in the progress of the project when the work required by the contract for construction with the project owner is sufficiently complete in accordance with the contract for construction so that the project owner may occupy or utilize the work for its intended use; provided, further, that “substantial completion” may apply to the entire project or a phase of the entire project if the contract for construction with the project owner expressly permits substantial completion to apply to defined phases of the project.

(21) “Violation” means a violation of any provision of this chapter or the regulations promulgated hereunder or any order of the board or office.

History of Section.
P.L. 1989, ch. 222, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 350, § 2; P.L. 1996, ch. 322, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 257, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 322, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 323, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 327, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 648, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 32, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 228, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 324, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 364, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 310, § 41; P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 17, § 4; P.L. 2018, ch. 170, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 4, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 251, § 1, effective June 28, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 252, § 1, effective June 28, 2022.