FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Licensees

What are the legal requirements of holding a Home Builder’s License?

The home builders licensure law, codified in Title 34, Chapter 14A of the Code of Alabama, and the rules and regulations of the Home Builders Licensure Board, requires licensees to meet certain obligations to remain in compliance with the law. Please read carefully the requirements summarized below. If you have any questions, please contact the Compliance and Consumer Affairs Division, 1-800-304-0853.

  • The Board may require a licensee to successfully complete education requirements to be determined by the Board and may levy and collect administrative fines for violations of the home builders licensure law and the rules and regulations of the Board.
  • Licensees are required to:
    1. Notify the Board, by certified mail, within ten days of the institution of any criminal prosecution, or a civil complaint if the subject involves a home building transaction or the goodwill of an existing home building business. Notice must include a copy of the complaint or criminal indictment. Failure to do so may be grounds for revocation or suspension of license.
    2. Notify the Board, by certified mail, within ten days of the verdict in a criminal trial or the judgment in a civil action. Notice must include a copy of the court order. Failure to do so may be grounds for revocation or suspension of license.
    3. Notify the Board immediately of the removal of the designated qualifying representative, and name a new qualifying representative with 45 days. Failure to do so may be grounds for revocation of license.
    4. Notify the Board of any name or address change within 60 days to obtain a replacement license. The license issued under the former name expires 60 days after the name change occurs.
    5. Utilize a valid written contract when engaging in the business of residential home building.
What do I do if I have lost, damaged or never received my license?

We realize that life happens and there may be times when you lose or misplace your license certificate and/or wallet card. If so, you may do either of the following:

  • For a HARDCOPY replacement certificate and card – download and complete the Lost, Stolen or Damaged License Affidavit; return the notarized original along with any original current certificate or card to the Home Builders Licensure Board, P. O. Box 303605, Montgomery, AL 36130-3605. Upon receipt of the affidavit and attachments, a new license certificate and wallet card will be issued.
  • For a COPY of the lost certificate and/or card – fax or mail a written request to the attention of the Licensure Division, Home Builders Licensure Board, P. O. Box 303605, Montgomery, AL 36130-3605; Fax: 1-334-263-1397. A copy will be returned via fax or mail as per your request.
  • If your license certificate and card were never received in the U. S. Mail – download and complete the Undelivered License Affidavit; return the notarized original to the Home Builders Licensure Board, P. O. Box 303605, Montgomery, AL 36130-3605. Upon receipt of the affidavit, a new license certificate and wallet card will be issued.
When does my license expire?

Home Builders licenses expire December 31 of each year issued.

When do I renew my license?

Online renewals and the mail out of traditional paper renewal packages begin October 1 of the current year. Renewals are considered timely when received or postmarked before 11:59 PM on November 30. All renewals received from December 1 through 11:59 PM December 31 are considered late and will be charged a $50 late fee. Any renewal application received on or after January 1 will be considered expired and will be charged a $295 expired license application processing fee in addition to the $250 license fee.

What should I do if my license has expired?

An expired Home Builders License may be renewed within three (3) years of its expiration date by completing an expired license application.  If the license was in an inactive status at the time it expired, then an expired inactive license application must be completed.  Click here for the appropriate expired license application.

If your license has been expired for more than three (3) years, then your licensure file has been closed. You will need to submit a new license application with the appropriate documentation and fees, take the home builders exam and provide a credit report. Click here for a new application package.

Our offices are moving to a new location. What do I need to do?

All licensees are required by law to promptly notify the Board of any address change. A licensee’s failure to notify the Board could result in disciplinary action, including the revocation of the license. Click here for Change of Address Form to be downloaded, completed and mailed to the Board’s office.

How does the consumer complaint process work for licensees?

When the Board receives a consumer complaint, the Board sends a letter to the Homeowner to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. In addition, a letter is sent to the Licensee with a copy of the complaint. These letters inform both the Homeowner and the Licensee that the Licensee has twenty (20) days to contact the homeowner and to try to resolve the problem. For more information regarding the consumer complaint process, click here.

Will I, as a licensee, get a chance to respond to the complaint?

Yes, a Licensee is given twenty (20) days from the receipt of the notification of complaint to respond. This is the Licensee’s opportunity to state his side of the story and to present any documentation to support his position. Remember — ALWAYS RESPOND.

Will I lose my license if I have a complaint filed against me?

No. Licenses cannot be revoked for complaints alone. Disciplinary actions can only take place through the process of an investigation and hearing or settlement agreement. After a complaint is filed and an investigation is completed, all documentation is reviewed by an investigative committee. This committee determines whether probable cause for a disciplinary action exists. If probable cause is determined, the case proceeds to a hearing conducted before a Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer then submits his or her recommendation to the Board for review. The Board may choose to adopt, reject or modify the recommendation. Then, and only then, can the Board take action against a licensee. In many cases, a settlement agreement is reached before the case actually goes to hearing.

What can the Board do to my license?
The Board can discipline a licensee by reprimand, imposing a fine, suspending the license, revoking the license, and/or requiring the builder to attend builder education classes.
Can the Board make me return to a home for corrective action or to pay money to a homeowner for damages?

No. The Board cannot force a builder to return to a home for corrective work or force the builder to give money to the homeowner for damages; nor can the Board force a homeowner to allow a builder to perform work on a residence.

If I have to pay a fine, does it go to the homeowner?

No. All disciplinary fines imposed are made payable to the Home Builders Licensure Board.

 

Miscellaneous

Is there a difference between a Home Builder’s License and a General Contractor’s License?

Yes. In the State of Alabama, one who engages in the construction of commercial or public properties where the cost of the undertaking including labor and materials is $50,000 or more and swimming pool construction of $5,000 or more is considered a General Contractor. A residential Home Builder is one who engages in the construction, remodeling, repair, improvement, or reimprovement of a residential structure where the cost of the undertaking including labor and materials exceeds $10,000, unless the work performed is not within the jurisdiction of the Board.

I have a General Contractor’s License. Can I build homes?

Anyone holding a General Contractor License issued prior to the passing of the statute that brought into being the Home Builders Licensure Board in 1992 may engage in residential construction. This would include ONLY General Contractors License numbers from 1 to 18907. Anyone holding a General Contractors License with a license number of 18908 or higher MUST hold a Home Builders License to perform residential construction.

Is there an age limitation for receiving a license?

The statute is silent as to an age limit requirement. In order to follow the Board’s Rules and Regulations, a license holder must be old enough to enter into a contract with a homeowner. The statute in Alabama states that a person must be 19 years of age to enter into a contract.

Are builders required to offer a home warranty?
The home builder’s licensure law does not require builders to provide a written home warranty. However, many licensed builders provide written home warranties to homeowners. If you have questions about a written home warranty provided to you, you may consult with your attorney.
Does the law require home builders to be insured or offer workman’s compensation to their employees?
The law regulating residential home builders does not address insurance. However, insurance may be required under other state laws. If you have questions regarding this issue, you should consult with your attorney and contact the Department of Labor.
Where can I find a sample home warranty?

The Home Builders Association of Alabama offers a sample home warranty to its members. If you are not a member, consult with your attorney to write a home warranty specifically for your contracts.