Chapter ATCP 110
HOME IMPROVEMENT PRACTICES
ATCP 110.01   Definitions.
ATCP 110.02   Prohibited trade practices.
ATCP 110.023   Substituting products or materials; altering the written contract.
ATCP 110.025   Lien waivers.
ATCP 110.027   Delay in contract performance.
ATCP 110.03   Building permits.
ATCP 110.04   Warranties.
ATCP 110.05   Home improvement contract requirements.
ATCP 110.06   Preservation of buyer's claims and defenses.
ATCP 110.07   Contract cancellation; return of payments.
ATCP 110.08   Contract compliance.
ATCP 110.09   Basement waterproofing practices.
Ch. ATCP 110 History History: Chapter Ag 110 as it existed on May 31, 1974 was repealed and a new chapter Ag 110 was created, Register, May, 1974, No. 221, effective June 1, 1974; chapter Ag 110 was renumbered chapter ATCP 110 under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., Register, April, 1993, No. 448.
Ch. ATCP 110 Note Note: This chapter is adopted under authority of s. 100.20 (2), Stats., and is administered by the Wisconsin department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection. Violations of this chapter may be prosecuted under s. 100.20 (6), 100.26 (3) or (6), Stats. A person who suffers a monetary loss because of a violation of this chapter may sue the violator directly under s. 100.20 (5), Stats., and may recover twice the amount of the loss, together with costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
ATCP 110.01 ATCP 110.01Definitions.
ATCP 110.01(1) (1) “ Buyer" means either of the following persons who is a party or prospective party to a home improvement contract:
ATCP 110.01(1)(a) (a) The owner of residential or noncommercial property to which the home improvement contract pertains.
ATCP 110.01(1)(b) (b) The tenant or lessee of residential or noncommercial property to which the home improvement contract pertains if the tenant or lessee is or will be obligated to make a payment under the home improvement contract.
ATCP 110.01(2) (2) “Home improvement" means the remodeling, altering, repairing, painting, or modernizing of residential or non-commercial property, or the making of additions thereto, and includes, but is not limited to, the construction, installation, replacement, improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, patios, landscaping, fences, porches, garages, basements and basement waterproofing, fire protection devices, heating and air conditioning equipment, water softeners, heaters and purifiers, wall-to-wall carpeting or attached or inlaid floor coverings, and other changes, repairs, or improvements made in or on, attached to, or forming a part of, the residential or non-commercial property. The term extends to the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or non-commercial property. “Home improvement" does not include the construction of a new residence or the major renovation of an existing structure.
ATCP 110.01(2m) (2m) “Major renovation of an existing structure" means a renovation or reconstruction contract where the total price of the contract is more than the assessed value of the existing structure at the time the contract is initiated.
ATCP 110.01(3) (3) “Residential or non-commercial property" means a structure used, in whole or in part, as a home or place of residence by any natural person, whether or not a single or multi-unit structure, and that part of the lot or site on which it is situated and which is devoted to the residential use of the structure, and includes all appurtenant structures. The term extends to all other existing non-commercial structures and the immediate premises on which they are situated even though they are not used for residential purposes.
ATCP 110.01(4) (4) “Home improvement contract" means an oral or written agreement between a seller and an owner, or a seller and a tenant or lessee, of residential or non-commercial property, or a seller and a tenant or lessee if the tenant or lessee is to be obligated for the payment of home improvements made in, to, or upon such property, and includes all agreements under which the seller is to perform labor or render services for home improvements, or furnish materials in connection therewith.
ATCP 110.01(5) (5) “Seller" means a person engaged in the business of making or selling home improvements and includes corporations, partnerships, associations, and any other form of business organization or entity, and their officers, representatives, agents, and employees.
ATCP 110.01(6) (6) “Warranty" means any warranty or guarantee made with respect to labor, services, products, or materials provided under a home improvement contract. “Warranty" includes a seller's warranty and a manufacturer's product warranty.
ATCP 110.01 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1974, No. 221, eff. 6-1-74; renum. (1) to (4) to be (2) to (5), cr. (1) and (6), Register, September, 1993, No. 453, eff. 10-1-93; CR 13-066: am. (2), cr. (2m) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 6-1-14.
ATCP 110.02 ATCP 110.02Prohibited trade practices. No seller shall engage in the following unfair methods of competition or unfair trade practices:
ATCP 110.02(1) (1)Model home representations. Misrepresent or falsely state to a prospective buyer that the buyer's residential or non-commercial property is to serve as a “model" or “advertising job", or use any other prospective buyer lure to mislead the buyer into believing that a price reduction or other compensation will be received by reason of such representations.
ATCP 110.02(2) (2)Production and material representations. Misrepresent directly or by implication that products or materials to be used in the home improvement:
ATCP 110.02(2)(a) (a) Need no periodic repainting, finishing, maintenance, or other service.
ATCP 110.02(2)(b) (b) Are of a specific or well-known brand name, or are produced by a specific manufacturer or exclusively distributed by the seller.
ATCP 110.02(2)(c) (c) Are of a specific size, weight, grade, or quality, or possess any other distinguishing characteristics or features.
ATCP 110.02(2)(d) (d) Perform certain functions or substitute for, or are equal in performance to, other products or materials.
ATCP 110.02(2)(e) (e) Meet or exceed municipal, state, federal, or other applicable standards or requirements.
ATCP 110.02(2)(f) (f) Are approved or recommended by any governmental agency, person, form, or organization, or that they are the users of such products or materials.
ATCP 110.02(2)(g) (g) Are of sufficient size, capacity, character, or nature to do the job expected or represented.
ATCP 110.02(2)(h) (h) Are or will be custom-built or specially designed for the needs of the buyer.
ATCP 110.02(2)(i) (i) May be serviced or repaired within the buyer's immediate trade area, or be maintained with replacement and repair parts which are readily available.
ATCP 110.02(3) (3)Bait selling.
ATCP 110.02(3)(a)(a) Offer or represent specific products or materials as being for sale, where the purpose or effect of the offer or representation is not to sell as represented but to bait or entice the buyer into the purchase of other or higher priced substitute products or materials.
ATCP 110.02(3)(b) (b) Disparage, degrade, or otherwise discourage the purchase of products or materials offered or represented by the seller as being for sale, by statements or representations in conflict with other claims or representations made with respect to such products and materials, to induce the buyer to purchase other or higher priced substitute products or materials.
ATCP 110.02(3)(c) (c) Refuse to show, demonstrate, or sell products or materials as advertised, offered, or represented as being for sale.
ATCP 110.02(3)(e) (e) Fail to have available a quantity of the advertised product sufficient to meet reasonably anticipated demands.
ATCP 110.02(3)(f) (f) Misrepresent that certain products or materials are unavailable or that there will be a long delay in their manufacture, delivery, service, or installation in order to induce a buyer to purchase other or higher priced substitute products or materials from the seller.
ATCP 110.02(4) (4)Identity of seller.
ATCP 110.02(4)(a)(a) Deceptively gain entry into the prospective buyer's home or onto the buyer's property under the guise of any governmental or public utility inspection, or otherwise misrepresent that the seller has any official right, duty, or authority to conduct an inspection.
ATCP 110.02(4)(b) (b) Misrepresent that the seller is an employee, officer, or representative of a manufacturer, importer, or any other person, firm, or organization, or that such person, firm, or organization will assume some obligation in fulfilling the terms of the contract.
ATCP 110.02(4)(c) (c) Misrepresent the status, authority, or position of the sales representative in the organization he or she represents.
ATCP 110.02(4)(d) (d) Misrepresent that the seller is licensed, bonded, or insured. If the seller represents that the seller is licensed, bonded, or insured, the seller shall provide the buyer with a written statement specifically describing the type of license, bond, or insurance that the seller possesses.
ATCP 110.02(5) (5)Gift offers. Offer or advertise any gift, free item, or bonus without fully disclosing the terms or conditions of the offer, including expiration date of the offer and when the gift, free item, or bonus will be given, or fail to comply with the terms of such offer.
ATCP 110.02(6) (6)Price and financing.
ATCP 110.02(6)(a)(a) Misrepresent to a prospective buyer that an introductory, confidential, close-out, going out of business, factory, wholesale, or any other special price or discount is being given, or that any other concession is made because of materials left over from another job, a market survey, or test, or any other reason.
ATCP 110.02(6)(b) (b) Misrepresent that any person, firm, or organization, whether or not connected with the seller, is especially interested in seeing that the prospective buyer gets a bargain, special price, discount, or any other benefit or concession.
ATCP 110.02(6)(c) (c) Misrepresent or mislead the prospective buyer into believing that insurance or some other form of protection will be furnished to relieve the buyer from obligations under the contract if the buyer becomes ill, dies, or is unable to make payments.
ATCP 110.02(6)(d) (d) Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that no obligation will be incurred because of the signing of any document, or that the buyer will be relieved of some or all obligations under the contract by the signing of any document.
ATCP 110.02(6)(e) (e) Request the buyer to sign a completion slip or certificate, or make final payment on the contract before the home improvement is completed in accordance with the terms of the contract.
ATCP 110.02(6)(f) (f) Fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include delivery or installation, or that other requirements must be fulfilled by the buyer as a condition to the performance of labor, services, or the furnishing of products or materials at the offered or contract price.
ATCP 110.02(6)(g) (g) Misrepresent that the down payment or any other sum constitutes the full amount the buyer will be obligated to pay.
ATCP 110.02(6)(h) (h) Misrepresent or fail to disclose to a buyer, before the buyer enters into a home improvement contract, the existence or amount of any financing charges, interest service charges, credit investigation costs, building or installation permit fees, or other costs or charges to be paid by the buyer.
ATCP 110.02(6)(i) (i) Fail to disclose that the home improvement contract, promissory note, or other evidence of indebtedness may be assigned or sold to a financial institution or any other third party.
ATCP 110.02(6)(j) (j) Advise or induce the buyer to inflate the value of the buyer's property or assets, or to misrepresent or falsify the buyer's true financial position in order to obtain credit.
ATCP 110.02(6)(k) (k) Increase or falsify the contract price, or induce the buyer by any means to misrepresent or falsify the contract price or value of the home improvement for financing purposes or to obtain additional credit.
ATCP 110.02(6)(L) (L) Where the buyer requests lien waivers under s. ATCP 110.025 (2), fail to give or furnish to the buyer lien waivers in writing from all contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers at, or prior to, the time final payment is made on the home improvement contract.
ATCP 110.02(6)(m) (m) Where partial payments are required at various stages in the performance of the contract, and the buyer requests lien waivers under s. ATCP 110.025 (2), fail to give or furnish to the buyer lien waivers in writing from all contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers for the proportionate value of all labor, services, and products or materials furnished or delivered as of the time partial payment is made.
ATCP 110.02(6)(n) (n) Fail to provide notice to a buyer as required under s. ATCP 110.025 (1), before the buyer enters into a home improvement contract, that the buyer is entitled to receive written lien waivers.
ATCP 110.02(6)(o) (o) Misrepresent that the seller is the only person who can provide financing for the home improvement contract.
ATCP 110.02(7) (7)Performance.
ATCP 110.02(7)(a)(a) Deliver materials, begin work, or use any other tactic to pressure the buyer into a home improvement contract, or make any claim or assertion that a binding contract has been agreed upon where no final agreement or understanding exists.
ATCP 110.02(7)(b) (b) Solicit or accept any payment for home improvement materials or services which the seller does not intend to provide according to the terms of the home improvement contract, or which the seller has reason to believe will not be provided according to the terms of the contract.
ATCP 110.02(8) (8)Interference with competitors.
ATCP 110.02(8)(a)(a) Make false derogatory statements concerning any competitor, the competitor's equipment, products or materials, workmanship, performance, reputation or responsibility, or attempt to or induce the breach of any existing home improvement contract between a prospective buyer and a competitor, or interfere with or obstruct the performance of any home improvement contract by a competitor.
ATCP 110.02(8)(b) (b) Misrepresent that the work of a competitor was performed by the seller.
ATCP 110.02(8)(c) (c) Misrepresent that the seller's products, materials, or workmanship are equal to or better than those of a competitor.
ATCP 110.02(8)(d) (d) Use or imitate the trade-marks, trade names, labels, or other distinctive marks of a competitor.
ATCP 110.02(9) (9)Sales representations.
ATCP 110.02(9)(a)(a) Misrepresent or mislead the buyer into believing that a purchase will aid or help some public, charitable, religious, welfare, or veteran's organization, or any other person, group, or organization, or misrepresent the extent of such aid or assistance.
ATCP 110.02(9)(b) (b) Fail to make any statement of fact, qualification, or explanation if the omission of such statement, qualification, or explanation causes an advertisement, announcement, statement, or representation to be false, deceptive, or misleading.
ATCP 110.02(9)(c) (c) Misrepresent that the customer's present equipment, material, product, home, or a part thereof, is dangerous or defective, or in need of repair or replacement.
ATCP 110.02(10) (10)Misappropriation of buyer's prepayments. Use any home improvement contract payment, received from a buyer prior to the completion of a home improvement, for any purpose other than to provide materials or services for the home improvement.
ATCP 110.02(11) (11)Misrepresentations; general. Make any false, deceptive, or misleading representation in order to induce any person to enter into a home improvement contract, to obtain or keep any payment under a home improvement contract, or to delay performance under a home improvement contract.
ATCP 110.02 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1974, No. 221, eff. 6-1-74; am. (7) (b) and cr. (9) (c), Register, March, 1976, No. 243, eff. 4-1-76; corrections in (6) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 5., Stats., Register, April, 1993, No. 448; cr. (4) (d), (6) (n) and (o), (10) and (11), am. (3) (d), (6) (g) and (h) and (7) (c), r. and recr. (7) (b), Register, September, No 453, eff. 10-1-93; CR 01-028: am. (3) (d) and (7) (c), Register September 2001 No. 549, eff. 10-1-01; CR 13-066: r. (3) (d), am. (6) (L) to (n), r. (7) (c) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 6-1-14.
ATCP 110.023 ATCP 110.023Substituting products or materials; altering the written contract.
ATCP 110.023(1) (1) No seller may substitute products or materials for those specified in the home improvement contract, or for those which the seller represented would be used in the home improvement, without the prior consent of the buyer. Except as provided in sub. (2), if a written home improvement contract is required under s. ATCP 110.05 (1) or the buyer signs a written contract, the buyer's consent under this paragraph shall also be in writing.
ATCP 110.023 Note Note: According to s. 137.15 (3), Stats., “If a law requires a record to be in writing, an electronic record satisfies that requirement in that law."
ATCP 110.023(2) (2)Verbal authorization. The seller may act on alterations to the contract that are verbally authorized by the buyer, if all the following conditions are met:
ATCP 110.023(2)(a) (a) The alteration does not represent any additional cost to the buyer.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.