Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC)
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission licenses and regulates home improvement contractors and salespersons. Home improvement work includes alteration, remodeling, repair or replacement of a building or part of a building used as a residence. Home improvement also includes work done on individual condominium units. Home improvement does not include work done on commonly owned areas of condominiums or buildings that contain four or more single family units. The Commission investigates complaints by homeowners, awards monetary damages against licensed contractors, and prosecutes violators of the home improvement law and regulations.
The Commission has a Guaranty Fund (The Fund) supported by licensed contractors, who pay a Guaranty Fund assessment when they obtain their Home Improvement license and each time they renew their license. This Fund compensates homeowners for actual monetary losses due to poor workmanship or failure to perform a home improvement contract. The Fund applies only to work done by licensed contractors. The maximum amount that a homeowner may recover through the Fund is the amount paid to the contractor, up to $20,000. If the total amount of all claims against a contractor equals more than $100,000, then each homeowner’s award is pro-rated based upon the total amount awarded to each claimant.
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News and Updates
Notice to Customers of Maryland Pools, Inc.
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission suspended the contractor license of Maryland Pools, Inc. on June 9, 2015. Due to the volume of Guaranty Fund claims pending against Maryland Pools, Inc.(MHIC license no. 01-93100), the Maryland Home Improvement Commission will exercise its authority under Business Regulation Article, §8-409(b) to pay approved claims proportionately. In order to be eligible for a payment from the Guaranty Fund, a claim against Maryland Pools, Inc. must be filed with the Commission no later than September 30, 2016. To obtain a claim form, please send an e-mail, call 410-230-6169, or visit the Commission at 500 N Calvert St., Room 306, Baltimore MD 21202.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR MHIC LICENSEES
Maryland home improvement contractors and salespersons should be aware that a MHIC license does not authorize you to act in the capacity of a public adjuster when dealing with a homeowner’s insurance company.
A home improvement contractor may prepare an estimate for repair of damages caused to a home by a fire, storm, flood, etc., and the contractor may answer questions the insurance company has about the estimate. However, unless the contractor is licensed as a public adjuster by the Maryland Insurance Administration, the contractor may not prepare the insurance claim for the homeowner, negotiate the claim with the insurance company, or advise the homeowner on the insurance policy’s coverage.
In order to act as a public adjuster on behalf of a property owner in Maryland, a person must obtain a license from the Maryland Insurance Administration. For additional information, please refer to following web page of the Maryland Insurance Administration: Maryland Insurance Administration Advisory.
As a result of the passage of Senate Bill 285, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission will eliminate the Subcontractor License category as of July 1, 2016. All application, examination, and renewal requirements will be eliminated. As of July 1, 2016, home improvement subcontractors may work without a license when performing home improvements for an MHIC licensed contractor in the State of Maryland.
The law continues to provide that only MHIC licensed contractors may enter into contracts with homeowners to perform home improvement work. The Commission encourages all subcontractors that are eligible to become contractors to apply for the Maryland Home Improvement Commission Contractor License.
Proposed Regulations Currently Open for Public Comment
There are no proposed regulations by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission at this time.
To register your comments with the Commission, send your letter to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, 500 N. Calvert Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; call 410-230-6309; or e-mail DLOPLMHIC-DLLR@maryland.gov.