Home Builders praise no-licensing decision

The Home Builders and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire are singing the praises of a legislative study committee that has decided not to recommend establishing a system of licensing New Hampshire contractors would be unfeasible.

The committee, which reviewed House Bill 307, deserves “a lot of credit for their commitment to these issues and their efforts to come up with solutions to some very complex issues,” said HBRANH President Ed Stewart. “I think their report outlines some positive legislative steps that can be taken to address the problems currently confronting builders, regulators and consumers.”

Stewart’s remarks are in reference to the Committee’s final report in which it stated its findings that licensing contractors in the state of New Hampshire would be impractical. The HBRANH agrees with this finding according to Stewart and HBRANH Executive Vice President, Kendall Buck.

The committee did vote to support enactment of a statewide building code as well as to require a written contract between contractors and consumers. The committee also encouraged the attorney general’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau to make the names of convicted contractors available to the public via its Web site.

Both of these proposals have won the endorsement of the HBRANH. According to Stewart, the association believes mandating written contracts between contractors and homeowners would improve communication between parties and provide accountability for both parties.

“Clearly, there are a few people, whether they are unscrupulous contractors or people posing as contractors, who are taking people’s money,” said Kendall Buck, executive director of the association. “And there is agreement that these people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It is our belief, however, that too many questions remain about the extent of the problem in New Hampshire, the effectiveness of licensing laws in other states, and whether adding the cost of a large regulatory process onto existing housing costs makes sense in our current market.” – TRACIE STONE

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