Consumer Beware - Rebuilding After A Disaster

Flooded City StreetWith the flooding and other tragedies that have occurred across the state, it is important that consumers, cities and counties be aware of Chapter 57 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code that was enacted by House Bill (HB) 1711 effective September 1, 2011.

The bill applies to contractors who remove, clean, sanitize, demolish, reconstruct, or otherwise treat improvements to real property as a result of damage or destruction to that property caused by a natural disaster. Specifically, it requires that a “disaster remediation” contract must be in writing and prohibits a “disaster remediation contractor” from requiring payment prior to beginning work or charging a partial payment in any amount disproportionate to the work that has been performed. However, the statute exempts contractors that have held a business address for at least one year in the county or adjacent county where the work occurs.