A Monmouth County contractor was unregistered, performed shoddy work, left home improvement jobs unfinished, and violated numerous other consumer protection safeguards, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs alleges.
Erich Niemann of Tinton Falls and his companies, Niemann General Contractor Builder LLC and Restore the Shore Contracting LLC, were named in a six-count complaint filed in Monmouth County Superior Court.
The state alleges violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors’ Registration Act, the Contractor Registration Regulations, and the Home Improvement Regulations.
“Home improvement projects are expensive endeavors that often cause significant disruptions in consumers lives. Contractors who accept money for these jobs are expected to finish the work on time, within budget, and to the specifications found in the contract,” said Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “We will not tolerate unscrupulous contractors who flout our laws by pocketing consumers’ hard-earned money and leaving them little to show for it but a mess.”
Niemann, who specialized in basement renovations and building patios and decks, “allegedly deceived, misled, and/or defrauded 17 consumers across New Jersey by, among other things, taking money for jobs that were poorly done or not completed” between September 2010 and March 2016, according to the release.
The contractor allegedly used more than half a dozen business names, including Niemann Contracting, NJ Custom Finished Decks, NJ Custom Finished Basements, NJ Finished Basements, NJ Finished Basements & Decks, Basementsremodel.com, NJpatiopavers.com, and Custompatiodecks.com, the release states.
The complaint seeks consumer restitution, reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs, and civil penalties for each statutory and regulatory violation committed by Niemann and his companies. In addition, the state seeks to permanently ban Niemann from owning or operating a home improvement business in New Jersey.
“This action demonstrates the Division of Consumer Affairs’ commitment to protecting consumers from contractors who force consumers to chase them down and beg for completion of the work paid for,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Dishonest contractors will learn the hard way that cheating customers is no way to do business in New Jersey.”
The public can report consumer abuse by filing an online complaint or calling 1-800-242-5846.