Home improvement contractors hit with hefty fines for violations
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Home improvement contractors, in Lancaster County and in York County, that specialize in asphalt paving services face hefty fines for violations of the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act(HICPA) and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
The contractors were ordered to pay approximately $186,998 combined in consumer restitution, civil penalties and legal costs. The court orders were entered against:
- Daniel Fry, who did business as Fry Asphalt in York County.
- Peter Thomas Lazrovitch, William Lazrovitch and Kelly Waters Lazrovitch, who did business as All County Asphalt and Seal Coating and Lazro and Sons General Construction in Lancaster County.
The court orders are the result of lawsuits filed against the contractors. The lawsuits aimed to address the contractors’ failures to meet the following requirements: maintain current registration, use HICPA-compliant contracts, perform contracted services in a workmanlike manner, complete contracted services, provide consumers with a three-day cancellation notice and restrict initial deposits to one-third of the total sales price. Daniel Fry was ordered to pay roughly $75,590, including $23,760 in restitution. The defendants in the Lazrovitch case were ordered to pay approximately $104,288, including $13,288 in restitution.
Significantly, the court orders also prohibit all named defendants from engaging in business as a home improvement contractor in Pennsylvania, or applying for a HICPA registration. As a result, the defendants are no longer permitted to perform paving for Pennsylvania consumers.
Additionally, the Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a contempt action involving another York-area home improvement paving contractor who violated a court order prohibiting him from participating in home improvements in Pennsylvania. The legal action against Richard Thomas Wells, who did business as Richard Wells Blacktop Paving and Richard Wells Paving, was filed in the York County Court of Common Pleas.
The court previously entered an order requiring Wells to pay roughly $105,710 in restitution, civil penalties and legal costs and to forfeit his ability to operate or be employed by a home improvement business. Wells has not paid any amount ordered by the court. A recent consumer complaint against Wells for shoddy workmanship revealed that he was again working in the paving business. The legal action seeks to impose a $5,000 civil penalty and to hold Wells in contempt until he pays the court-ordered amount.
The Attorney General’s office encourages consumers to be cautious when hiring a home improvement contractor, and, specifically a paving company. The Bureau of Consumer Protection has provided the following steps for consumers:
- Seek multiple bids.
- Check references for home improvement contractors.
- Ask for referrals from family, friends and neighbors.
- Consult with consumer advocacy groups and trade associations.
- Be wary of any group that appears to be going door-to-door. These groups are often transient and may be difficult to locate when issues with shoddy workmanship arise.
- Consumers should be extremely cautious of anyone knocking on their door who offers to pave the driveway with “extra asphalt” at a discounted rate if payment is made in cash. Asphalt that is left over from another paving job will most likely be too cool to properly pave a driveway.